Starting to write the book on police history

I've just received a book contract from Routledge for their First World War collection, all good so far. I have to finish writing the book and submit it along with the necessary corrections and permissions from those who own the copyright to any photos or pictures I use. So let's get down to business!

My writing time is mornings; I'm at my most alert at this time, by lunchtime I'm starting to flag. So a 9am start gives me at least 3 and a half hours of writing time, if I stop for coffee! This sounds very organised, but it's important to start well and most authors will tell you how and when they write best - hear Hilary Mantell on the third Reith Lecture 2017 I write best at my desk on my laptop; it faces the wall, so little distraction from looking out into the garden when something could catch my eye.

My husband is wonderful. When I had the proposal accepted, we agreed that he would not expect me to be available for anything in the mornings. So far this has worked well and he often gets the coffee so that I can continue to think, read or write without altering my focus. It's important to gain the agreement of those you live with so that they can help with your need for uninterrupted writing and thinking time at agreed periods of the day.

But you're never really away from the subject you're writing about. Ideas pop into your head when you're not really thinking about them and it's important to capture them, so carrying something to write on or speak into is useful.

In these pages I aim to let you know the various activities, joys and struggles I encounter along the way to completing the book. I hope you'll find it interesting.