Welcome to my newly updated website. We are still working on it so feel free to comment or criticise. As you can see I have a new book out, which is my main pre-occupation at the moment. (Well along with my sick mother, my son awaiting GCSE results, a travel guide I am late delivering, a house in France undergoing restoration which is STILL not finished….normal life in other words.) So I am anxiously awaiting reviews…
Writing non-fiction about real people has its pitfalls – (Fay Weldon said to me many years ago, “Just write fiction, it is much easier, you can make it all up!” but that is advice I seem to have ignored) Each book I have written has resulted in a reaction from someone which has been quite unexpected. So this time I have been very happy thus far to receive positive calls and emails from some of the people I have written about. Especially since most of them don’t really read English. In particular two of the elderly men I interviewed, one Henri Melich, a Spanish Republican refugee who fled to France after the Spanish Civil War in 1939 at age 12, and then joined the French Resistance, aged 16. He was kind enough to give me his own account of his experiences and was so pleased I had used them.
Another of my characters, Dr Henri Goujon, who was in the Resistance a the age of 17 in the Pyrenees Orientales, said he had sat up all night reading it with a dictionary at his side. He told me I had given a truthful authentic account, and above all, one that was neutral. It is true that the more I wrote about the French experience of the war the less I felt in a position to judge. We have only to ask ourselves what we would we have done in the same circumstances, had Britain been invaded. I recently read a very fine book, Resistance by Owen Sheers which imagines the Germans invading and coming to a remote Welsh valley, and the inevitable challenges and compromises that resulted. I hope you will read my book and let me know what you think.
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