About Scott Allsop:
Scott Allsop studied history at the University of Cambridge and is the host of an iTunes Top-100 daily history podcast. He is an award-winning history teacher who was nominated for the UK’s national Teaching Awards and short-listed for the BBC/Historical Association History Teacher of the Year award.
Passionate about finding opportunities to engage people with history, he hosts the daily ‘on this day in history’ podcast at www.HistoryPod.net. This series of 2-3 minute long episodes covers a range of historical periods and events and was the top ‘New and Noteworthy’ history podcast on iTunes on its release. It has since maintained its place of a Top-100 podcast. He also creates podcasts specifically for history students that are shared on www.MrAllsopHistory.com and a dedicated YouTube channel. These are accessed by thousands of people a month, and regularly top the iTunes Education charts.
His work has been featured in the Guardian newspaper, the Times Educational Supplement, and has been used by the Training and Development Agency for Schools. He has contributed to the education pack for the First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme, and he has written articles for journals including the Historical Association’s “Teaching History” and the UKEdChat magazine.
He currently lives in Romania with his wife and two children.
What inspires you to write?
I’m passionate about engaging people with the past, and love sharing stories from world history. People and societies interpret the past in a myriad of different ways, resulting in a complex tapestry of world history that is as fascinating to study as it is confusing. The celebration and commemoration of anniversaries draws on and shapes our social identity, but with a small number of events that from ‘headline history’, other people and events have been lost to the sands of time. I research and write in order to remind myself and my readers that something worth remembering happened somewhere and to somebody on every day of the year.
Tell us about your writing process.
I began as a podcaster, and sought to create a daily podcast where I share an account of one historical event that happened on that day. I am acutely aware of the number of quick ‘on this day’ collections that don’t provide any detail, so my research is focused on being able to explain the causes, course and consequences of events.
I begin with an almanac of daily events and highlight those that – in some way – are significant. Although the decision over which event to include on any given date is arbitrary, I attempt to cover a disparate range of events from the worlds of politics, economics, religion, science, technology, society, and the arts.
Once I have identified a single event for a particular day the research process begins. As a graduate of the University of Cambridge I am able to access their online journal and book libraries, which provide academic material from which I create the narrative.
I set myself a very specific word limit of a maximum of 270 words for each daily event, so much of my research is spent on drawing out the specific details that help to propel the story along. Once I’ve collected the research together the writing itself is usually quite fast as long as I stick to the explanatory format of ‘overview, background, course, effect’.
What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t underestimate the sheer number of uplifting, devastating, and often mind-boggling crazy things that happened in the past. There is a wealth of fascinating history that can spark a great discussion.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My daily podcast developed a sizable following, and a number of listeners contacted me to ask if they could obtain transcripts of the episodes. I opted to publish them as a book after a discussion with a local librarian who said he wasn’t aware of many ‘on this day’ almanacs that go into the level of detail that my accounts do. I chose to self-publish since I am currently based in Romania, and this would have had an impact on me being able to physically visit English-language publishers.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The ease with which people can self-publish is excellent, and is certainly responsible for bringing a wealth of new authors to the scene. However, as more authors begin to self-publish I think it will make it harder for readers to find the best work. Good writers don’t always have large budgets to afford semi-professional marketing campaigns, so I worry that they may get ignored in favour of those who do.
What genres do you write?: Non-Fiction History
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
Link To Scott Allsop Page On Amazon
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