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John Keay speaks with James McConnachie about hands-on historical researches from the Himalaya to the Highlands, his best writing advice and the idea that what historians really need is not more documents but stronger boots.

James McConnachie speaks with Julia Copus about the plight of non-fiction books in an internet age, his travel writing adventures and the joy of (writing about) sex.

‘You form a band with other girls and write song lyrics instead. You walk this flimsy tightrope; eager to do well yet terrified of being ostracised as a brain-box.’