Bestselling English author Anne Perry summed up her writing habits simply: "I'm awake and I'm working." Speaking to Pasatiempo from Los Angeles, the creator of two well-known Victorian-era detective series — the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels, spanning 29 volumes, and the William Monk novels, soon to reach 20 volumes — interrupted her work routine for the sake of the interview. "I put the pen down to talk with you. I have Monk on deck. He's boarding a ship and I've got pirates coming up the other side, and the people on the ship, who are gunrunners, stopped in the hold, and they've just shot their way out. ... I bet you're not having as much fun as that!"
Pirates, detectives, soldiers, and time travelers have all sprung to life from Perry's pen. In addition to the Pitt and Monk series, her interest in historical fiction has broadly manifested itself in the form of a series of five World War I novels, two novels set in France around the time of the French Revolution, and an epic of 13th-century Byzantium. Then there are her series of 12 Christmas-themed mystery novellas, three time-travel novels for the young-adult market, two fantasy books featuring Tathea, the Empress Sihinabar, and countless short stories. Combined, these add up to more than 26 million Anne Perry books in print, according to the author's website. How does she keep track of each series?