I just had an email from Unbound to say they are closing the supporters list this Sunday 25th Feb. If you want your name in the back of the book, a signed copy and my undying gratitude, PLEASE sign up now. Go to my Unbound project page, hit the Pledge button and it will explain the rest for you. Spread the word! Thanks a million.

More exciting news soon but I just had to let you know about this straight away. In haste…


Screenshot-2018-2-16 free images chinese new year 2018 - Google Search

Happy New Year of the Dog 2018! This year is supposed to be a year of action and it is certainly starting off that way. I now have an idea of publication date for Stranger In My Heart and it is soon! The copy edit is done so I can have my draft copies to send out to reviewers. Unbound sent me a cover design questionnaire so that they can get started on that – as it happens the Art Director is based in Frome! The next steps also include proof reading and typesetting and altogether the final processes are supposed to take about 6 weeks. I am hoping that my lovely (and patient) supporters will have signed copies in their hot little hands in early April, with public launch at the end of April. I have gone from being impatient to see the book published to feeling that it now seems terrifyingly soon. Time to dig out my PR and Promotion hat and get to work!

Next month I am speaking about my book at Leeds University at an event titled Future Memories organised by the Researching Far East PoWs History Group. This is a seed event for bigger things planned for 2020 when it will be the 75th anniversary of VJ day. I’m excited to be involved and hope that I will also be able to take part in the events in a couple of years time. There are lots of great speakers – we only have 15 minutes each, sort of speed dating for authors/academics – so it will be interesting to meet everyone. We are combining our trip to the North with visits to family and friends and we are really looking forward to it.

High & Low

January was a mixture of of great excitement and terrible grief. The darling dog died on the 4th, leaving us in heartbroken ruins. The universe kindly stepped in, making almost every day damp, dark and miserable, so that my usual early start with a dog walk seemed unattractive as compared to staying in bed with a cup of tea. We miss his constant companionship, unconditional love and trust and his silky soft ears.


Unbound asked me to seek permission for the quotes I have used in Stranger In My Heart. Mostly rights are held by publishers but, after a few decades, rights often revert to the family of the author. This has meant that I have made contact with several of the families of other escapers from Hong Kong, expanding my community of Dad’s old colleagues. I hope I shall meet up with some of them to find out more about these men and what became of them.


Meanwhile, I have been working on the copy edit to finalise the draft. I think it is pretty much completed now and I’m really pleased with it. I want to send out a few copies of the book to people who’ve agreed to look at it with a view to providing cover quotes (assuming they like it!) and it should now be possible for Unbound to print it for me. I cannot tell you how excited I am about this!