A profoundly important book for me to write, this book tells the story of the English slave trade, the import of black people as slaves into England, an almost totally forgotten history when I started research. The great source book for me was Peter Fryer's Staying Power, in which he writes of the presence of black people in Britain from the Roman Empire onwards. It was a moment of great gladness when he wrote a generous review praising the novel. I travelled to the Gambia to research the African part of the story and while I was there met the schoolmaster who founded, with me, our charity, Gardens for the Gambia. The novel scandalised my home town of Bristol which has tried to forget the terrible legacy of slavery, and inspired many black readers to study the history of 18th century slavery in England. I wrote the screenplay for the BBC TV drama based on the book and was proud to win the Committee for Racial Equality award for best TV drama, and be runner up for a BAFTA.