Another publication, and in the next edition of a print magazine; print is struggling to survive in recent years against the continuing spread of e-zines, but some continue to prosper. Vintage Script – www.vintagescript.co.uk – is specifically devoted to historical fiction. With the recent successes of Philippa Gregory (White Queen) and Hilary Mantel (Bring Up The Bodies) following up on other historical blockbusters, it is an area of fiction which is no longer just tucked away into its niche. One of my first forays into it was for the 2011 Waterloo Competition, put together mostly by the well-established historical writer Myfanwy Cook – www.myfanwycook.com . The competition was dedicated to raising money for the Hougoumont Restoration Project, Hougoumont being an area of the huge Waterloo battlefield; it is hoped that the Project will be complete in time for the 200th anniversary of Waterloo in 1815. My two stories in the competition anthology, one of which got amongst the prizes, were about the eve of the battle. The prize winner, ‘Boy Deserter’, was about a teenager who had been forced into the French Army because of his gift with the horses, in spite of not being French. The other concerned a family whose fighting son came for leave after Napoleon’s defeat in 1814, with obvious psychological damage, only to find he has to return and do it all again in 1815. The anthology is still available and the Project still needs support – http://activesprite.co.uk/publishing/titles/waterloo.htm

My new piece in Vintage Script is concerned with the aftermath of the war, and the effects on one family in particular. I’ll say no more than that, because the relevant edition of the magazine isn’t out yet, but Vintage Script, edited by Emma Louise Oram, is a good read and the site will give availability details. Fly the flag for historical fiction!

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