The days of the Stuart kings offer good opportunities for historical fiction. I’m not so keen on the Restoration period but the next king James has the advantage of escaping under the noses of his pursuers. I’ve found only glimpses of what happened with enough gaps in detail that can be filled with conjecture – unsupported lies if you prefer. There’s clandestine comings and goings with William of Orange, James’s brother-in-law and the question of loyalty among the troops and sailors. Lots of turmoil and where there’s turmoil, there’s drama and stories. What has come to me however is the drama among less fashionable people during that time. There was the fire and the plague, of course, but there was the growing importance of the East India company and it’s struggles with its French competitors. There is an abundance of stories of ordinary soldiers becoming rich with The Company and as many sea fights as have been written about during the Napoleonic War. There is the beginning’s of the colonisation of America, sea journeys, disputes and struggles among the colonists, daughters and sons defying fathers and mothers to go off into the wilderness with mad explorers. Relations with the locals and people finding it too hard and going back. Stories of the time have generally been about royalty, the aristocracy and particularly, the Civil War, but there was so much going on among the ordinary people; stories laced with tough decisions and hardship. Imagine how desperate anyone must be to gather their few possessions and board the Mayflower; to leave the Highland glen and march to the Khyber Pass. The rich may have invested in the ventures, created the opportunity, but it was the ordinary people who made it happen and that’s why the protagonists in my books, Koos in Shadows in the Veldt, Broon in Best in Show, the people in Oakhaven, Fergus in Drover, are ordinary people.