Separation is the first book in Lives Apart. A WW2 Chronicle. The five part series is a mixture of fact and fiction inspired by the true story of Rifleman Ted Taylor and his fiancée Brenda, through WW2. All books have photos at the end and the final book, Retribution, has a summary of Ted and Brenda’s lives after the war.
As Joe Price heads towards Calais in May 1940 he has no idea how his life is about to change or how long it will be before he sees his fiancée, Peggy, again. Fortunately, he has no idea that it isn’t just Peggy he is leaving behind. As his situation rapidly deteriorates Joe determines to risk everything to send a message home.
Peggy is sure Joe is safe in Suffolk and just too lazy to write, so it is a considerable shock to find out he is in the thick of the fighting in France. As the news worsens, and with no way of knowing if Joe is alive or dead, Peggy is grateful for support from a new friend.
Olive’s German boyfriend has to leave the country when war starts, but he has found a way she can keep in touch. Olive has no intention of letting the war interfere, not when she’s waited so long for love, but Olive has upset too many people and everything she has built up begins to slowly unravel.
Determined to escape to England and carry on the fight, Marcel joins the thousands of refugees fleeing from the German advance in France. Thankful for the support of his new friends Marcel’s confidence grows, and as he nears the coast he doesn’t think twice about risking his life.
Targeted Age Group:: 18+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
These books are about my in-laws. Like the majority of the general public I knew very little about the Defence of Calais in 1940 or the subsequent treatment of the ordinary POW at the hands of their captors. I had grown up on a diet of sanitised POW camp films and even one comedy set in a Stalag, (Stalag 13 I think) none of which bore any reality to the truth. As far as the Defence of Calais was concerned attention is nearly always focused on the evacuation from Dunkirk and even modern documentaries on the Second World War hardly mention Calais at all. So when, in 2005, BBC Radio Essex took part in a wartime memory project I asked Ted if I could write about his war. I managed to get Ted to speak on tape about his experiences which I then transcribed into a brief short story which Ted was delighted with and showed to many of his friends and for the time being that was it. It was a very sanitised version and it wasn't until I started researching and speaking to the very few people he had shared his experiences with that I realised exactly what he had survived.
Although Ted counted himself as one of the lucky ones, in that he came back alive, he and the other POWs who were treated as slave labour by the Germans were considerably damaged by their experiences. Many adjusted on the surface but many others, like Ted, were unable to reconcile the experiences they’d had with the cheery, holiday camp style films that were the public’s only window into the POW experience. Initially no one wanted to talk about the war and then, when they did, they only wanted to hear about those they considered to be ‘the action heroes.’ Many POWs didn’t talk about their experiences because they wanted to forget, others because they feared they would not be believed, and most because to do so would reawaken the nightmares.
After Ted died on 4th April 2009 at the age of 90 we found the diaries he had written in 1940, together with numerous photos of the POW camps and letters from Brenda to him in the POW camps. It is these treasures from Ted’s past, together with extensive research to fill in the gaps, that forms the basis of this tribute to Ted and all those other heroes of World War 2 ‘who gave their tomorrows so that we could have our todays’.
These books were previously published in 2016 but as they have now reverted back to me I am self publishing them so that Ted's story is not forgotten.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The main characters are based on my in-laws, but the fictional characters came out of something Ted did after he was captured. I won't say what that was here or it will spoil the story. As with most of my fictional characters they soon developed lives of their own and their stories are very much character led. Even now I spend hours working out what I am going to write only to sit down at the computer and write something completey different!
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All information was provided by the author and not edited by us. This is so you get to know the author better.
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