Adventures in writing…a personal journey by Stuart G Yates: back on track!

The main difference between writing a work of historical fiction, as opposed to what could be termed ‘ordinary’ fiction is, of course, the research. The facts have to be correct. There’s no getting away from this if the story is to be authentic, and not a fantasy piece. I have always longed to write historical fiction and some of my Young Adult works have been well grounded in research. My first published work, ‘Cold Hell in Darley Dene’ dealt with the immediate post-war years, and the aftermath of what happened during a bombing raid on Birkenhead in 1941. I knew the story, but I still had to check up on the facts. However, it was during the writing of ‘Death’s Dark Design’ that I seriously took up the mantel of research. This involved labouring through masses of literature, weaving all the numerous threads that would bind the story together. It was set during the civil wars in England between Henry VI and Edward IV (which became known as The Wars of the Roses), and I had to link this into what was happening in Eastern Europe at the same time. Because, of course, my villain was a vampire, and had to meet up with Vlad Tepes (whom some of you may know as Dracula). It was fascinating, and my own work of fiction grew as a consequence and became, for me, one of the best things I have done.

When I began to turn my mind away from paranormal fiction, I wrote a historical pierce set in Spain in the Seventeenth Century. ‘The Story of Don Luis’ grew out of what was happening to a boy in my school. He was being relentlessly bullied and was becoming ill because of it. I couldn’t do very much, being a lowly teacher, but I told him I would show everyone what a great person he was, that he was better than any of those who were making his life a misery. I would write a book, and it would be about him.

That summer, I did just that. ‘Don Luis’ deals with a young boy who is hounded by the local toughs. They make every day hell for him, because he is ‘different’. He can read. I poured my heart into it, and produced a story that showed that strength of character and love can conquer all. cover

When he saw the book, Luis burst into tears, but they were tears of joy. It is one of my fondest memories about writing. How books can change lives. Wow, that saying has never been more true than when it came to Luis’s reaction. It helped him, I believe, in realising that he has so much to offer, and is a far better person than those who attempted to hurt him.

I researched that story, got everything right. One day, I will write the sequel. I have ideas for a series of books about ‘Don Luis’, but they will have to wait, because now I have the bug gripping me about William ‘Rufus’. More about that, next time.

Until then, I’d like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas. I love this time of year and I sincerely hope that love and peace visits you all at some point over the festive season. As Dickens says, ‘God bless us, everyone!’

You can visit my websites to read about my books and where to buy them

For Young Adult paranormal books (including Death’s Dark Design) go to

For adult and ‘cross-over’ works, including ‘The Story of Don Luis’, go to

Thanks for reading.




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4 responses to “Adventures in writing…a personal journey by Stuart G Yates: back on track!

  1. Stuart, the research for historical fiction sounds really fascinating and FUN! I so look forward to reading your work– Death’s Dark Design in particular. When I have more time next year, your books are definitely at the top of my list. I’m so glad you have your “oomph” back. 🙂 Merry Christmas to you and yours, as well.

    • Thanks Lorian! Death’s Dark Design is the sequel to The Accursed Dawn, and introduces Max, who is the luckless hero in DDD. He also meets up with Daniel, the hero of The Well of Constant Despair. Bringing all these stories together into DD was the real challenge, but it was so rewarding. And, perhaps more importantly, I learnt a great deal. For example, Dracula was betrothed to the daughter of Michael Corvinus, the great Hungarian King. He had doubts about Dracula’s sanity, and thought it might be hereditary. This was where my story kicked in, as the villain was charged to go to visit Dracula and find out if the suspicions were true. Well, thanks for your comment, and have a very happy Christmas yourself. xxx

  2. Great that you could use your writing skills in such a powerful way for that youngster. I bet he’ll always remember that.

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