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Windrush series is terrific
Hi Malcom, I'm binge-reading the Windrush series. I've found it very pleasant to learn about historical events via quality historical fiction. Your novels fill the bill. Other authors that I recently enjoyed are S. G. Maclean and Andrew Wareham. Wareham is kind of amusing. He loves to make fun of the elite narratives that blinded policy. It's always the blinkered old boys ... the fellows who devoted significant resources to cavalry regiments 10 miles behind the trenches so that when the barrage broke the Germans, the horsemen could gallop into Berlin and end the war ... who are at fault. But he tends to have the same blinders, particularly about Churchill. I'm looking forward to reading your Gallipoli book next. The gradual development of modern infantry practices that underly the Woodrush series, motivated by the ever-increasing lethality of individual weapons, makes for a less obvious and more effective method of instruction.

I haven't dug thru your site, so this may be redundant, but do you have any recommendations for non-fiction histories for your various novels? Perhaps some of your own work? Also, it would be nice to have links to maps that might allow the reader to better visualize some of the locales that you mention. So many of the online maps do not have the old names, etc.

Thanks again for efforts to educate us while entertaining us. They are appreciated! Bob Stewart, southern Puget Sound region, Washington, USA
Posted by Robert J Stewart on 10 October 2023
Hi Bob,

Many thanks for your very kind communication about the Windrush series.

I originally intended a trilogy, with Windrush in Burma, Crimea and the Mutiny, but the series grew legs and walked off on its own. So be it: Fighting Jack deserved more space anyway.

I tended to read an academic background to each war first, to get the gist of the campaigns and commanders before I put Jack into the picture. I wrote a rough outline of the campaign to choose where I would include Jack, then found some more personal accounts, eyewitness documents, letters and so on - the bits academia leaves out, and often the more interesting parts as well. How the people felt and what they experienced, rather than just which units moved where.
I had always planned to make Jack part-Indian, to show the merging of cultures and peoples. At the outset, I had no idea that Eurasians could rise high in the British Army. I know about Skinner of Skinner's Horse - I have his biography - but did not realise that the head of the British Army at the turn of the 19th/20th century was part Indian. That was a welcome discovery and allowed me to progress Jack further up the ranks.

As far as books go - if you tell me which campaign interests you, I will happily send you a list of books that should give a better insight and background than anything I can write.

Thank you again for contacting me, and I look forward to hearing from you in due course.


Posted by malcolm archibald on 11 October 2023
Whaling Song
Hi Malcolm

I hope you are well...I have only just discovered you because I'm researching whaling for the lyrics of my song, "Starboard Skies" or maybe "Tall Ship Tales", I haven't decided. (What's your preference?)
Which of your books would be of most benefit do you think? I have compiled a glossary of boating and whaling terms but a real life, true story of a humpback whale hunt would be the best! Any help would be most gratefully received. Thank you. Joanna
Posted by Joanna Bates on 10 August 2023
Hi Joanna,
Of my books, 'Whalehunters: Dundee and the Arctic Whalers' would be best. It has chapters about the voyage and the actual hunting which could be useful. There is also a bibliography at the back which includes primary sources written by men who were on whaling ships.
Starboard Skies is an interesting title!
Best of luck with your song lyrics.
Very best
Posted by malcolm archibald on 11 August 2023
Jacobite to Redcoat trilogy
Dear Malcolm, We are connected by a remarkable co-incidence. I live in Dundee and have written three books about a man who survives the Jacobite rebellion and becomes a redcoat himself in Fraser's Highlanders (78th regiment).His initial motivation is to find the redcoat who killed his family but his loyalties become more conflicted as he serves in the French and Indian war. "No Great Mischief If They fall" is the first book, "Liberty or Death", "The World Turned upside Down" the further books. Great minds think alike. I will read yours, if you read mine. Martin
Posted by Martin Dey on 23 August 2021
Hi Martin,

That is an amazing coincidence! I have looked at your books on Amazon and they look fascinating. I would love to follow your suggestion.
Unfortunately, you did not leave your email address, so I am unable to reply directly.
Posted by malcolm archibald on 25 August 2021
The WIndbush series
I discovered the Windbush series and have to say I have read them all. I sad when I reach book 9 and there were no others to follow. Thank you for taking me from Burma, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the hills of England, Crimea, introducing me to the Fenians, the West Coast of Africa, the business of the slave trade and so much more. Enjoyed them all and will try Our Land of Palestine next.
Posted by Tim Landrum on 27 July 2021
Hi Tim,

Many thanks for posting your kind comments on my website!

I am very glad you enjoyed the Windrush series. When I wrote the first, I had only intended a series of three books, but Jack took over and demanded I continue expanding his adventures.

I do have a tenth book in mind, to finish his Afghanistan campaign, for there was much more drama to come, with one of the worst defeats the British Army suffered in Queen Victoria's reign, and one of the most celebrated marches that brought General Roberts to public attention. You may remember Roberts from Beyond the Frontier, a diminutive Ulsterman who Kipling later immortalised as 'Bobs.'

After that - I am not sure. I may put Jack into honourable retirement, or continue his career. It all depends on the readers' reaction to the tenth book.

Thank you again for your readership and comments, and please don't hesitate to get in touch for any queries!
Posted by malcolm archibald on 28 July 2021
Someone has just mentioned to me there's a Detective Mendick in some of your novels. That's v exciting for us Mendicks. Wondering what gave you the inspiration and can you point me in the direction of your novels with the name in it?
Best wishes
Rob Mendick
Posted by Robert Mendick on 08 January 2021
Hi Rob,
Very good to hear from you.
Yes, I have three Mendick novels published:
The Darkest Walk
A Burden Shared
The Golden Voyage
Contact me directly and I will happily give more details. I got the Mendick name from a hill in the Pentland range, south of Edinburgh in Scotland. It's the only Mendick I know, and quite possibly (although not definitely) was where the surname originated.
Posted by malcolm archibald on 11 January 2021
I know the hill. We used to stop there always in the way up to Edinburgh. I’ve included my email address so please send details this way. Many thanks
Posted by Rob on 11 January 2021
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Thank You
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Thanks for Windrush
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Windrush series
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query about
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Dundee connection
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Jack windrush
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Windrush Books
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Dundee at a Glance
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Malcolm's Books
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