This weekend is Historical Writers’ Day. (Yes, I know that there are two days in a weekend, but we are historical writers, not mathematicians.) The event is being run through Twitter and you can follow what is going on using the hashtag #HistoricalWritersDay22.
I’m marking the weekend by selling Cawnpore for just 99p for two days.
Cawnpore is the second of the three books making up the John Williamson papers but you can read it even if you haven’t read the first and it is complete of itself, so you don’t have to read the sequel. I think that, of all my books, it is the one I am most proud of, but its sales are miniscule compared to the relatively successful Burke series. Be warned, though, it’s a very different sort of book.
The story is set around the siege of the British forces in Cawnpore (now Kanpur) during the war usually referred to in Britain as the Indian Mutiny. John Williamson, as a gay working class man, finds it difficult to identify with the British he is working alongside. On the other hand, he is very sympathetic towards the local population. When war breaks out, he is torn between loyalty to his friends and to his countrymen.
The siege at Cawnpore and the massacre that followed is not a pretty story. Cawnpore shows the events from both sides, sticking very closely to the historical record. It has its moments of drama and excitement, but mostly it describes events that are desperately sad. It is almost guaranteed to make you cry.
I will also be checking #HistoricalWritersDay22 looking for any questions people might have posted about my books and trying to respond to them. Please ask any questions you might have, otherwise that element of the “day” isn’t really going to work.