Sleeper grew out of a love of travel stories. Stories about people making epic journeys. The stories led me to Central Asia, a place I found fascinating at the border between Europe and Asia. For nearly a century, a secret war was fought in the lonely passages and deserts of Central Asia between two of the most powerful nations in history, Victorian Britain and Tsarist Russia. It's a story of high adventure and courageous travellers without maps setting out to discover little known lands controlled by local rulers who were not always welcoming. The prize they were seeking was India.

Inspired by these stories a journey of my own began to take shape, one that would take me overground from home in London to Russia, before heading South through Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to India. Travelling by sleeper train, car-pooling with locals where the train lines ended, staying in simple accommodation, I made my way slowly through the landscape. In this era of low-cost airlines travel is fast and cheap. We parachute into a place without experiencing the distances travelled or places travelled through. Sleeper is about slowing things down, enjoying the journey and being in no hurry to reach a destination.

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