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.