"I have had to make the very difficult decision to step away from my Anglo-Afghan War project for a while - at least a year. This year (2009) sees the publication of the first volume of my book (The Rainbow Orchid) and I have found I must turn my full attention to supporting this aspect of my life in order to ensure its continuing success.
Dealing with Afghan War related requests and research is a hugely enjoyable hobby for me, and I find helping people with their family mysteries and historical queries enormously rewarding, but I end up having to spend too long on them - often many hours for a single request. Also, having to switch my brain from author/illustrator mode to history/researcher mode at the flick of a switch, and then back again, is not easy. Once I'm in Afghan War mode I stay enthusiastic about it, and find it an effort to turn back to the main work of my books (which I also greatly enjoy).
So, I need to prioritise, and - at least temporarily - stop the flow of Afghan War related correspondence that I deal with (I will clear the current backlog). This site will remain online, but the database project is on hold. I will still accumulate data for the project, but with the longer term in mind.
If you have an Afghan War related query, please consider posting it over at the excellent Victorian Wars Forum, which has a dedicated section for the Afghan Wars. I will almost certainly be popping over there myself every now and then, when I can, and will contribute as time allows.
I've invested far too much time (and money) into this project to give up on it, and it is a period of history I still find totally absorbing (the Afghan War makes an appearance in both of my currently published comic strips) - so 'normal service' will resume, when the time is right. As I said, this has been a truly difficult decision to make."
I said in a recent interview that I slightly regretted not being more focussed on my 'comics career' when I was younger. I had (and have) so many interests, and when one grabs hold of me I tend to dive into it 110%. One year I decided I wanted to set up a small theatre company and direct a play, so first I got as much experience as possible on the stage and took part in seven different plays in that one year alone. Not a lot of time for making comics that year (though neither would I go back and change a thing!)
I mentioned that the Afghan War makes an appearance in my comics, and you'll have seen it as part of the 'sword story' in The Rainbow Orchid. Below is a small extract from my DFC comic strip, Charlie Jefferson and the Tomb of Nazaleod.