This is a bit of self promotion, so I’ll send it with an apology. But for the first time in a long while, I don’t feel embarrassed about pushing my work, because I know that this is a story that will give quite a lot of people the answers to some of the questions about World War Two that they’ve been asking on Facebook and Twitter.
For example ‘What was it like to be evacuated at the start of the war? A lot of people thinking about it now assume that the evacuees must have been frightened but in fact, we weren’t. It was all a bit of an adventure or at least it was to start with. I can remember dismantling my gas mask, which we had to carry in a cardboard box over our shoulders all the time. There were a whole gang of us who took our masks to pieces so that we could play ‘elephants’ having discovered that if all the filters were taken out of the mask, you could put a piece of paper down on a table and suck onto the end of the mask, just by pulling in your breath. And of course we had our teachers with us, good, bad and indifferent and that made things feel normal.
In this book Octavia is a headmistress and we see her caring for her evacuees in her inimitable way, making sure that there were always staff available to comfort her pupils when bad news arrived, as it inevitably did.
And on a more serious note, there are lots of people thinking about these things today who wonder how on earth they coped in a bombed city when their house had been blown to pieces. In this book Octavia’s niece and her family emerge from the underground, where they’ve been sheltering all night, to discover that their house in which they lived was just a pile of rubble and that all their possessions had been blown to smithereens. Naturally enough they went straight to Woking where Octavia’s school had been evacuated and, once in Woking, straight to Octavia’s front door.
And now here’s my Octavia being published again by Agora Books, for the second time in her career. I think quite a lot of people might enjoy reading about her, as much as I did writing her story. It’s is available on Amazon as from today here.
And because this is a trilogy, there’s a third book called Octavia’s Legacy which is due to come out later this year.