It’s been a funny old week. I’ve just moved house. I am surrounded by boxes and chaos. I can’t find anything. I’ve had so many heated discussions with call centres organising gas/electricity you name it, my head is fit to burst. The dog has barely been walked and is pinging around like a loon. And in the midst of all this….my book is out tomorrow. I just want to tell you about it. Not the plot. Not the themes. Just about how I wrote it. It took me two years. It was my escape from domesticity, my secret focus to daydream about while I washed dishes, cleaned, in between my little boy’s nap times and doing the school run. I wrote it because I had just been rejected for the gazzilionth time; I had failed to be shortlisted for everything. I sobbed in my bedroom and told my husband I was utterly disappointed with myself. But I kept writing. And researching. And writing. It’s out tomorrow. I hope you like it. M xx
Do you remember back in the day when you went to the library, you could explore back issues of newspapers with one of those microfiche readers? And it made you feel as though you were an investigative journalist in a film….? Or was that just me? Well anyway, recreate that moment by following this link. Go on. Indulge me.
Find anything interesting?
The article about Nazi gold in a Norwegian cave is rather exciting isn’t it? I thought so too…. A good spy story needs some gold or treasure doesn’t it? And perhaps, Tirpitz herself would have been a good hiding place for Nazi loot. Until such time as she became a very real target. Then, the gold might have to be moved. To a cave perhaps? And what if someone saw it being hidden. And knew, after all these years, that it existed…and was out there still, buried in a Norwegian fjord cave. Now that could be very exciting…..
My husband knows me very well. On a trip to London some time ago, when I was in the midst of research, he visited the Imperial War Museum.
Not only did he take photographs for me of a Norwegian Resistance radio (above) and various other secret agent gadgets, he bought me one of the best presents I could have hoped for: a book called, ‘The Secret Agent’s Pocket Manual’. What could be better when you’re trying to write about clandestine activities during WW2?
I got a lot of practical advice from this corking wee book, particularly from the chapter entitled: ‘Simple Sabotage Field Manual, 1944’. Sabotage, it would seem is on a spectrum. From the art of everyday sabotage – opportunisitc, subtle, ‘the human element’ causing delays, accidents and ‘general obstruction’ right up to highly planned physical acts of mass destruction.
‘Simple sabotage does not require specially prepared tools or equipment; it is executed by an ordinary citizen – who may or may not act individually and without the necessity for active connection with an organised group; and it is carried out in such a way as to incolve a minimum danger or injury, detection, and reprisal.’
Sabotage, it emerged, was to become a major theme in ‘The Revenge of Tirpitz’.