I am not a fast reader. So the fact that I finished all five books in David Downing's John Russell series in just over three weeks means that a) Zoo Station (book one) hooked me on the first page b) I made more time to read fiction that at any point in the past five years of get up-research-write-parent-go to bed-repeat c) Downing is a master of plot, characterisation and pace.
The first time I wrote historical fiction I had no idea what I was taking on. Even now, with one historical novel under my belt, and with a second on the way, I am filled with admiration for anyone who can craft a good period narrative. Of all the literary genres, historical fiction must be the toughest.