Hello everyone, did you miss me? I’m sorry I’ve been off the radar for such a long time but I’ve been in Bridget’s world, which may be an imaginary world for you, but to me, it needs to be a parallel universe that I nip in and out of on a regular basis until the book is written, and there’s no time for dawdling.
Bridget is a policewoman in the Rushen Internment Camp for women during World War 2 and she is my next heroine in book 4, ‘Bridget’s War.’ I hugely enjoy creating these women, looking for different characters who might appeal to readers in different ways but they have to appeal to me too. This one is a tomboy brought up clambering the rocks of the wonderful Isle of Man, following in the wake of her two brothers and their friend, Kieran but after training as a policewoman in London, the last place she wants to be is her ‘safe’ island home.
Yep, you’re right, it turns out to be be anything but safe but you’ll have to wait to find out more!
I was fascinated to hear about the internment camps on the Isle of Man with their mix of German Jews, Nazis, conscientious objectors, prostitutes, Oswald Mosely supporters… basically anyone Churchill didn’t know what to do with when war broke out. His order to ‘Collar the lot’ resulted in people from all these backgrounds, who lived in Britain at that time, being carted off, either to Canada or the Isle of Man. Once I heard about this cauldron behind a wire at the bottom of the island, I couldn’t wait to write my next novel about it. I know people love the links between all the books and I hope you won’t be disappointed with this one, it presented me with quite a challenge with that Irish Sea between.
The Isle of Man is such a special place to me. My parents spent the last years of my father’s life there and they are both buried there. I have such fond memories of getting that tiny little plane over, with its flask of coffee and barley sugars that were distributed to passengers and the slightly unnerving moment when the plane drops almost to sea level before touching down at Ronaldsway Airport.
I had some prior knowledge of this special island but I’m paranoid about getting something wrong so I’m going to be pleading with friends and experts over there to read it through for me before I let it loose of the wider world but there are some very special aspects to it that I really wanted to include…for example the magical elements of it. I’ve had huge fun creating those.
When I went over as soon as they lifted a travel ban last summer and I headed straight to the beautiful Malew churchyard where my parents are buried. I shed a little tear thinking I hope they would be proud of their belated novelist daughter. I know my dad would be tickled pink that I’ve written a book about his beloved island.
I just hope you and the Manx people are too.