As Thomas wrote a book about the influence of historical fiction on children's literature, he found himself wanting to write some of those stories himself. So he used part of his research leave to create six pieces of historical fiction for children. His advice to future research applicants: limit your apprehension and target a contribution you wish to make in your field but have not yet found time to pursue.
Thomas: "So much of what we love and so many of the ways in which we're rewarded come out of the classroom and what we teach. (Research leave) can feel like a big risk… I thought it was a wonderful opportunity and if I get the chance to do it again, I'll certainly do it again. I very much enjoyed it."