What was your inspiration for this book?

I am a World War II addict.  Whilst I was researching the Bath Blitz for a book I am currently finishing for adults I became fascinated with personal memories and I thought there is a story in there somewhere.  It then went to the back of my mind as I continued with my writing until a few years later my daughter started making an Airfix model Spitfire.  I loved listening to her chatting with her friends about the war, and in particular the Bath Blitz.  Then as I shared some of the things I had discovered from my research and enjoyed their interest, I realised that the a story would work well for children.  The defining moment was watching the BBC Bristol/Yesterday documentary “The Forgotten Blitz”.  I was so moved and touched by the experiences shared on the programme that I was completely compelled to finally get ‘Asking Grandad’ down on paper.

What do you hope people will take from the story?

As the generations move on, I hope this story will help them understand the effects that being blitzed had on a community and also enjoy stories of reconciliation that can be celebrated together.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Yes- from a very early age.  I always had stories swirling around my head.  Long car trips were never a problem as I would go off to all sorts of places and create all sorts of characters in my mind.  Then as I got older, I developed this annoying habit of having inspiration when somebody said something – ‘I might need that sentence one day’ I would say.  Sadly, I’m still doing it now.  Even my German friends have been subjected to having an evening meal tape recorded so I can ‘write’ their accents.  What can I say – its all in the name of research.

Where did you carry out your research?

I found the following extremely helpful:

  • The Bath Blitz Memorial project website : www.bathblitz.org  This is a brilliant site full of details of what happened during the raids, where bombs landed and memories from residents of Bath.
  • There are also some good sites and articles that tell Willi Schuldecker’s story (please also see the above site).
  • Niall Rothnie’s “The Bombing of Bath”.
  • BBC Bristol/Yesterday “The Forgotten Blitz”.

When is the book launch?

The book is going to be launched at the end of April 2014.  I am very excited that it will be around the Blitz Anniversary as I hope that it will help to bring the story alive to those wanting to find out more about that time.  Book launch details.

Where can you buy a copy of the book?

Asking Grandad’ is now available from:

  • The Oldfield Bookshop, 43 Moorland Road, Bath, BA2 3PN
  • Tourist Information, Abbey Churchyard, Bath, Somerset, BA1 1LY
  • Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, 14/15 John Street, Bath, BA1 JL
  • Aslan Christian Bookshop, St Michael’s Church, Broad Street, Bath, BA1 5LJ
  • Good Buy Books, 6 North Way, Bath, BA1 1LF
  • Topping & Company Booksellers, The Paragon, Bath, BA1 5LS
  • Waterstones, 4-5 Milsom Street, Bath, BA1 1DA

You can also purchase it on Amazon.