'The past is never dead...'
How the Book Came About
Another You started when one Christmas my husband bought me a book of ghost
stories from around Britain. In it was a tale from Studland in Dorset, a place I knew
quite well, which told of a woman in a white jacket walking up the path from the
beach on August nights, telling the people she met that she’d been swimming then
vanishing in front of their eyes. The fact that the hauntings were recent appealed to
my imagination and formed the basis of a short story I needed for Winchester
It was when my mother read it and told me I didn’t have a short story, but the
opening of a novel, I started to think again. In September 2013 my husband and I
went on a two week holiday and I wrote, and I wrote, and I wrote until I had at least a few characters and half a book.
When I started to read around Studland’s history I discovered it had been used extensively in practices for D-Day and that a tragedy had occurred with six men losing their lives when a number of amphibious tanks failed to make it to the shore. This story was so secret that it only came to light during the preparations for the sixtieth anniversary commemorations of D-Day when a plaque was finally unveiled in their memory. Armed with this knowledge, the other half of the book started to take shape.
A draft or two later I realised that I should focus on the part of the story surrounding D-Day and the character of Marie, a pub chef trying to escape a broken marriage. Her story was so compelling and I love a heroine who is over forty. So eventually the novel emerged in its final form; a mixture of romance, history and the impact of war, all in an incredibly beautiful setting.
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