There is 56 days to go until it’s released, but my historical fiction, Nell’s War has already gained a lot of interest from the residents of Swansea where the story is based. Back in 2015 I decided to write a book loosely based off my grandfather’s war stories. Two and a half years later, I am proud to say the book is finished and will be released on his birthday, October 1st.
I honestly didn’t know what I was getting into when I decided to write this book. Despite having a keen interest in WW2 history from way back, when I was a youngster, (I suppose it was due to having a grandfather who served in WW2 as a Merchant Seaman. I always enjoyed his stories.) the amount of research and days spent knee deep in its history wasn’t what I was prepared for, but nonetheless I enjoyed it immensely.
The story centres around a young woman, Nell, who lives in an area called Port Tennant. Nell has dreams to become a singer, but the war has been announced and she quickly gets her priorities in order and becomes an ARP warden.
But what I wanted to talk about was one particular story the book focuses on. It’s a a true story of the time my grandfather was in NYC. His ship was docked and having a few free hours, he and his pals went to the Bronx for a drink in some pub I can’t recall the name of. At the time they were told not to go to this area as it was rough, but my grandfather being a tough old guy, ignored the advice and went anyway. I always remember him saying that they had the warmest welcome they ever had anywhere in the world. And as soon as the owners found out he was Welsh, they showed him pictures of the boxer Tommy Farr they had on the wall. My Grandad loved boxing too and felt really at home in this place. (Apparently they loved the Welsh) But that feeling of being at home was about to get a little stranger. An acquaintance he knew told him that there was another Welsh man in a pub not far away and thought my Grandad would want to chat to fellow countryman. My Grandad did and the guy turned out to be his brother in law. After having a few drinks, his brother in law gave him something to give his wife as my Grandad was going home first. To cut a long story short, while my Grandad was standing on his docked ship that evening, his brother in law who was on another vessel sailed out and devastatingly, his ship was torpedoed by a German sub. My Grandfather saw the whole thing. I can’t imagine how awful that must’ve been. This was the story that made me want to write a WW2 book and I’m very glad I did.
Nell’s War is available for pre order from ibooks, Barnes and Noble, Overdrive, Kobo. Amazon will follow.