Monday, 12 January 2015

2014: a year in blog posts

Last year I made 62 posts on this blog. Google’s analytics are not entirely reliable, but they do give me an idea of which posts get most attention. In the past, I’ve been surprised at what has got read and what hasn’t. This is what has tickled readers’ interest this year. (Click on the titles to be taken to the posts.)

Historical novels and the 20th century 

This post revisited the old question of how long ago a story has to be set to make it a historical novel. I argue that a story from the 1960s can definitely be a historical novel and illustrate this with Sharon Robard’s remarkable book, Unforgivable.

I was surprised at the interest this post seemed to generate. I have two series of books out with Accent. The Williamson Papers are set in the mid-19th century and are quite serious books about the impact of colonialism on both the colonisers and the people they colonised. The books about the adventures of Napoleonic-era spy James Burke are more light-hearted. I thought this blog post was a rather self-indulgent piece about the problems of writing two very different kinds of book, but for some reason it caught peoples’ interest.

Someone asked me to post seven interesting things about myself. It’s not the sort of thing I generally do on my blog, but I was asked, so I did. It turned out to be huge fun to write and, apparently, a lot of people thought it was fun to read too.

This is an article on kris, the famous Malay weapons. There’s one on the cover of The White Rajah. If you want to know about kris, this article is a good place to start. Apparently quite a few of my readers are interested.

I don’t often straightforwardly plug The White Rajah, but it’s a good book and I was glad to see people reading this post.

This guest post by Christopher Hawthorne Moss (author of Beloved Pilgrim) looked at historical novels as a way of exploring the role of transgendered people in history.

So, as last year, there seems a range of different types of post that attract interest. I’ll carry on with the mix of guest posts, articles about writing, about the history behind my books (like the kris piece) and, occasionally, about me. I didn’t write about tango this year but the piece I wrote about Milonga 10 in Buenos Aires remains one of the most widely read posts I’ve ever made, so I might yet put in some more stuff about dancing.

If there’s anything you’d particularly like to read about in 2015, do let me know. You can write to me in the Comments section below or email me at

1 comment:

  1. This was an interesting analysis! I may be inspired to do the same with my blog. I do have to admit my marketing my blog more widely has more to do with how many hits a post got than the actual interest in the subject matter though.

    Thanks for the mentioned about MENDING THE HOLES IN HISTORY which I think should address all peoples subject to erasure.

    Kit Moss