Historical Fiction

My first historical novel, As the Sparks Fly Upwards, is the start of a series of books following the life of Tom Tyler.


I’ve always been interested in history and as I’ve learnt about Poole’s past whilst living here for over 25 years, I’ve became fascinated with what took place in this part of the country during the English Civil Wars in the 17th Century. No major battles happened here, but what adventure and intrigue there was. It seemed to me that there were some really good stories to share and to create about that time. And so the story of my hero Tom Tyler started to come alive.

Release Date Announced

- Friday 12 November 2021 - 
As the Sparks Fly Upwards

In a country tearing itself apart in a brutal civil war Tom's only aim is to find something, somewhere or someone to believe in. But, where do you turn when you lose your home, job, friends, community in one day? 

Tom, a young baker, is evicted from him home, life and Dorset town when his father dies. He's conscripted into the army in the brutal war between parliament and king. And it's the middle of winter. He needs friends. Fast. What he doesn't need is a psychotic colonel, a mysterious comrade, Effra, who might be a desperate criminal, and to be stuck in a little fishing town besieged by a whole Royalist army. At least Bathsua is a good influence, but she is a Puritan preacher, and a force equal to anything Tom faces in battle. Right across Dorset Tom struggles to replace the home he has lost; to build something from nothing. Then, to lose everything, again. That would be unbearable.  


You have written a historical novel that feels absolutely authentic. Though it’s clear how much research you must have done in order to make the era and setting feel so convincing, this research never overwhelms the human stories. Great stuff.

Debi Alper, Jericho Writers