I fenced when I was young. A great deal. Every day at school, and training in the evenings and competitions on weekends.
I ended up with an enduring obsession with swords, a few medals, and quadriceps the size of Uluru. I even have a sword tattoo.
So it’s not surprising that my first books were about pirates, and I’m working on another now about a duelist – a real-life female D’Artagnan. I sit on the train, researching for the new novel, re-reading some of my histories of sword-life, and imagining the moves and plays in each duel as I read.
The other day I noticed my sword hand subtly moving into quarte – a parry – and get ready to riposte, as I read.
So that’s it.
I have to start fencing again.
My quadriceps are aching just at the thought of it.