Welcome to the fictional lives of my characters - in a real world of history. So why do I have this fascination for the past? As an author of the family saga I chose to paint my words on the canvass of history. I did so as my research of Australian history revealed a colourful and vibrant story - about the human condition - that is just as relevant today as it was then. 

I suppose I can best describe my approach to the genre as "putting a human face" on what is often perceived as a rather dull subject. So often our exposure to historical studies is limited to the memorising of past significant dates and political processes. History is viewed through the eyes of political analysts rather then aspects of the impacts on our ancestors' lives. We rarely stop to reflect on those people who came before us. We do not consider how much they have helped shape our present lives.

 I think that the renowned author / astronomer Carl Sagan, best summarised the impact of the "human face of history," when he wrote, "We have not met our forgotten ancestors, but one begins to sense their presence in the dark. We recognise their shadows here and there ... the key to who we are is waiting in those shadows." I guess I go searching those shadows for the people who will tell us what it was like to live in the times before ours. So that is why I love writing historically based action adventure novels. And I also know that like me - there are a lot of people out there - who have an abiding interest in the "human face of history". 

Peter Watt.