What do we look for in fiction? As well as entertainment and escapism, I think we're also in search of enlightenment: we want to know who we are a little better, recognising ourselves in others' actions and reactions, perhaps subconsciously evaluating how we might have behaved in similar circumstances. In my humble opinion, there's little better than finding a fabulous historical novel to transport you to a familiar and yet wholly new time and place. That said, I'm a sucker for great contemporary fiction, especially if it has engaging characters, a compelling mystery, or a strong romantic thread pulling me along...but give me all of those elements, seamlessly interwoven under the same cover, and I'm pretty much in reading heaven. This is what I hope I encapsulate in my historical fiction writing.