Thursday, February 21, 2008
There are a number of books out there with the same title, but all of them, apart from mine, are non-fiction accounts of Second World War bomber crews. The setting is the same for my book, but mine is fiction, a slim 9,000 word novella. It tells the story of the young crew (average age around 19) of Lancaster bomber M for Mother, before and during a raid on Berlin in 1944. It’s published by Barrington Stoke, a publisher that specialises in books for young people who have a thirst for good stories, well-told, but who can have difficulty reading them. The books are edited with the help of a group of readers, a sample of the children and young adults the books are aimed at, which means there’s no talking down or unnecessary simplification. There are some great writers published by Barrington Stoke. Their website is www.barringtonstoke.co.uk
I had a lot of help with the research for BOMBER BOYS from my uncle, who was in RAF Bomber Command, where he served in the famous dam buster squadron as part of the ground crew. He joined up just after the war finished and got to go on a goodwill tour of America. He once told me a story of flying which has always stuck in my mind. Touring America by plane, my uncle and his friends were admiring a beautiful sunset through the Perspex canopy of the cockpit. When the last red rays of the sun disappeared behind the mountains the pilot announced over the intercom, “That was a fantastic sunset, lads. Shall we see it again?” And so he climbed several thousand feet and there was the sunset all over again! I imagine that’s not something you could easily do in these days of flight paths and crowded skies...
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