I wonder how many writers when working on a book whether it be fiction or non-fiction, get pangs of fear that they won’t be able to deliver the goods. If it is a first book of course it’s understandable to have these fears, but what if it’s a recurring theme when writing every book?
The one I am working on at the moment is about an important historical event and it is probably the most important book I will ever write. It’s about an English girl who was an agent with the Special Operations Executive in World War Two – a clandestine organisation set up by Winston Churchill in 1940 to “set
My heroine, Diana Rowden, volunteered to be dropped into enemy-occupied
to be a
courier for a resistance circuit in the Jura, a beautiful area of south-west France on the
border of France
and France .
She worked tirelessly, travelling all over the country keeping just one step
ahead of the Gestapo – a job fraught with constant danger. Switzerland
Unfortunately her luck ran out when she and her radio operator were denounced to the Germans. After being imprisoned for several months Diana, together with three other girls was taken to Natzweiler, the only Concentration camp on French soil, and executed in a most brutal fashion.
This is a serious work which I have spent the better part of 18 months writing and researching. I even travelled to the other side of the world in the hope of gaining crucial information.
When writing about history you have a responsibility to do the best job you can. A lot depends on producing a book which is high-quality and well-researched that people will actually want to read and enjoy reading.
So I have to do the best I can to do to give Diana the justice she deserves. I have to be meticulous because when writing history there is no room for error. There are too many people just waiting to come down on you like hot bricks if you make a mistake!
And I have a responsibility to all the people who helped me so much who have been so generous with their time, especially the two dear French sisters, Claude and Christiane who looked after me during my stay in
Have I given it my best shot… have I done enough? These are thoughts which go through my head all the time. Do I need to dig deeper? I’ll have to wait and see.