Afghanistan veteran with medals and child

Historical fiction novel released in aid of SSAFA

9 December 2014

Historical fiction novel released in aid of SSAFA

Historical fiction novelist Alex Janaway partners with SSAFA for his latest page-turner set in 17th century Tangier.


Historical fiction novel released in aid of SSAFA

An inspiring new novel set in the late 17th century about the British Army’s involvement in a military campaign in Tangier is set to benefit SSAFA.

The novel which is called Tangier: Book One: The King’s Army is written by Alex Janaway a former Officer in the Royal Engineers and Educational and Training Services (ETS). It is a historical fiction account covering actual events and many of the principle characters had major parts to play in those events.

It is set during the Restoration of Charles II and tells the story of a young headstrong Army officer called James Fitzwilliam. He is the son of a Scottish nobleman who fought for the royalists during the English Civil War. When Charles II becomes King, the Portuguese colony of Tangier comes into his possession and he has dreams to turn it into a thriving port and the gateway to the Mediterranean. So he sends an army of ex-royalist and parliamentarian troops to hold onto it. But the local Moorish rulers are not so happy about that and for the next twenty years the English soldiers are engaged in a protracted conflict, trying to hold onto Tangier. James Fitzwilliam is part of that force and finds himself forced to rise to the challenge and take responsibility for his actions and the well being of the men that he commands.

Alex Janaway served in both the Regulars and now the Reserves. He has been on operational tours in the Balkans and the Middle East and has also carved out a career as a writer specialising in fantasy novels and writing for computer games. Alex describes his new novel as “an action-filled historical story.”

On his inspiration for the story, Alex says: “I found out about this story when I found it in a history book given to me by a friend. I had never heard about the Tangier campaign before and it was an intriguing period of history where old enemies were made to fight together.”

The story has historical significance because Tangier was the first ever battle honour awarded to a British Regiment - the Queen’s Royal Regiment. It therefore marked a significant moment in the formation of the modern British Army we know today.

On his collaboration with SSAFA Alex says: “I was inspired by the account and wanted to tell the story that quite frankly few people outside of the military know about. Just as importantly, I wanted to give something back to the Army – who I have had the privilege to serve with. It made perfect sense that I could do this by giving this book to SSAFA – so the proceeds of the novel will go to them and in turn to servicemen and their families.”

Finally, Alex has some advice for those thinking about taking up writing: “Ultimately, if anyone has that desire, that tension, to want to tell a story, just start writing. Don’t doubt yourself or worry about all the technical writing stuff. Just tell the story!”

Tangier is available at Amazon in both paperback and Kindle. Find out more.