This is me and what I do
History is my thing, more specifically, military history. It’s what I write about, most of the time. Not so much about how armies moved and fought or what commanders did, but more about the hows and whys of combat, the evolution of tactics in relation to technological change, and the nature of combat in different times and places. I have a particular interest in the First World War, munitions and inventions. So I’ll be writing about that quite a lot. Swords and swordsmanship also fascinate me. I was an épéeist for more than thirty years. My favourite sword? The fifteenth-century longsword. But more of that another time And I am fascinated by that most gruesome of subjects, lethality: how weapons kill. If you write fiction, you need to know that sort of stuff.
My intention with all these things is not merely to be historical or factual as a historian but to put the history and the facts into context, particularly the context of writing fiction and non-fiction. This leads me neatly into the subject of research for writers, its role in providing contextual credibility to a piece of work without turning it into a history textbook. I know that some people find research daunting, especially archival research. How do you find that stuff and what do you do with it all when you’ve found it? I might be able to help you there.
As for my academic credentials, I have a PhD in history. A PhD, in case you were wondering, is a research degree. In other words, you have to do original research in some field, analyse what you find and write a 100,000-word thesis to make an argument for a particular theory or interpretation of the historical data you found and analysed. I’m the author of six books on military history, all based on original research. In addition to which, I’ve just been commissioned to write a novel set during the First World War. Now, that’s an interesting challenge. I’ll let you know how I’m getting on with that another time. I’ve also worked with inventors. I might write about inventing, too.
My intention with these blogs is to shed a different light on things historical and wherever possible to put the history into a meaningful context for writers as well as say something informative and interesting. So, I shall move from history to fiction to non-fiction and sometimes to theatre. Theatre plays a big role in my fiction. Later, I’ll tell you why that is and I may even let you in on a secret. The subject of theatricality in fiction may well come up some time as well. But sometimes, I’ll go right off on a tangent and talk about my dog. She’s a lurcher-husky cross, by the way.
You’ll see that I have a serious side and a mischievous side. I am passionate about writing and I hope I can convey some of that passion here in these blogs.
AND this is me.
My name is Catherine though most people call me Cat lately. Either my name is too long or it’s because I love cats.
I am Greek and I live on a beautiful island in the centre of the Aegean Sea. The Ancient World, one of the subjects we will explore in this blog, called my island “Bliss”. Having lived here all my life, I can only attest that. It is a privilege to be able to gaze upon the sparkling crystal clear waters and let my mind wander.
I have tried my hand at writing and that is how I became acquainted with the authors of the Booktrap. But that’s not what I really do. I am an English teacher and an editor. I have been teaching since 1998 and I consider the English language my passion. Well, along with books and music, that is.
Anthony and I will talk about History, Literature and the Theatre. We will attempt to instill our favourite Worlds upon you and we hope you will enjoy our blogs.
Blogs will be posted every Friday, so don't forget to come back.