Stuart Hammond

Writing the book took six months, thinking about it took another six, and research a year. I cannot just write something and hope it is correct. It niggles until I check to make sure it's accurate. If you don't you are short-changing your readers. Everything I write either did happen or could have happened. Because my first book, Minion, is part of a series, not only does it have to be internally consistent, it also has to have continuity with the other books.

Fortunately, the central character, Thomas Scrope, sprang fully formed on the page. The name Scrope just popped into my head. I don't write about him, he writes himself. Then I did some research and there, on the webpage, was his history, family, relatives, enemies, everything.

Why Bristol and Elizabeth's visit? Why not? Bristol, a great city, Elizabeth and the glamour of monarchy, the spectre of war, the threat to national security caused by religious discord and economic strife. Another country, always just out of reach on the currents of time, yet a mirror of the problems of today.

The sequel, Serpentine features Elizabeth, Robert Dudley, John Dee and Mary Queen of Scots as the major historical characters, and solves one of the great mysteries of Mary's life. It is set in the Midlands, London, and of course Bristol.

Stuart Hammond