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I am a writer - late developer since I wasn't published until I was 50. I have now written 23 novels, numerous short stories and articles.


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Saturday 31 December 2011

Clare’s War is the third novel to go on Kindle.

There are times when publishers are looking for a novel on a specific subject.  They then they ask one of their writers if they would consider doing so.  I have written several at their suggestion - Advances, Molly’s Flashings, Hector’s Hobbies, the trilogy The Cresswell Inheritance and Clare’s War were all suggested to me in one way or another.   There have been others which, on reflection, I decided I could not do - either I did not like the subject or was not interested in it or I felt it was one which was beyond my capabilities or knowledge.  There was never any pressure but I always felt it was courteous to think about it.

     So, I was asked if I would consider working on a novel set in France during the Second World War, particularly involving the Resistance.  I needed to read a lot around the subject since most of what we know about France during that period is from the English standpoint and, it has to be admitted, is not always complimentary to the French.  It was a fascinating subject to research.

    It was by sheer chance, looking through a magazine that I learnt that of the thousand medals bestowed by the French, after the end of the war, only six were awarded to women.  It seemed a paltry number.  Had they done nothing?  Unlikely, I thought. 

     Fortunately I was living in France at the time, in the Auvergne which, wild and mountainous as it is, was a centre for the resistance.  Memories were fresh as if it had happened yesterday.  On the road below our house two young men had been executed.  Our neighbour’s house, which is higher than ours had been requisitioned by the Germans as a look out post.  The more I enquired the more I learnt; a farmer’s family, close by, had sheltered a Jewish family for the whole of the war.  We were warned not to patronise a certain shop since the owner’s father had been a collaborator.   The fallout from the war was all about us, and who had been in the thick of it - the women.  It was they kept the network going, delivering food, printing papers, hiding people, transporting Jewish refugees, nursing the wounded, always with the knowledge that if they were found out they would be shot.

     So I decided I would write this novel from a woman’s point of view, but she would be English.  I began the novel but after ten thousand words felt it was not right and started again.  Something told me that it should be in the 1st person.  I had never attempted this nor wanted to, but, it was right for this book and once the decision was made then Clare’s adventure really began.



1 comment:

  1. Probably my favourite Anita Burgh novel (although there are many close contenders!)and I recommend it to anyone with an interest in WW2 - or to anyone who just loves a wonderful story well told. Interesting to hear about the background research!