Sunday, 11 December 2011


Another break from the blog – this time due to a back injury (I’ve torn a muscle) which means sitting to write is painful. Actually, it’s not only a physical issue; I’m currently working on Book 2 and it’s difficult to write about one-time legionnaires involved in all sorts of rough and tumble when just sitting down hurts! Anyway, enough of my ailments and on with the A-Z.

If my alternate history begins with the divergence point of Dunkirk, it consolidates with the CASABLANCA CONFERENCE of 1943 where Hitler and Prime Minster Halifax meet to carve up Africa. The obvious inspiration for this was the 1884 Berlin Conference where the 19th Century powers met to divide the continent (the so-called ‘The Scramble for Africa’) . There was also a real Casablanca Conference, also in 1943, also at the Anfa hotel (pictured below) where Churchill and Roosevelt met to discuss opening up a second front in Europe. This is one of things I enjoyed doing most with the book – taking real historical moments/facts and bending them to my story.

By the way – watch out for a literal reference to ‘Casablanca’ in Book 2 which will help explain the symbolism of Hochburg’s and Eleanor’s relationship... in case you’ve overlooked it.

The Casablanca Conference leads to a decade of uneasy peace before my story picks up in 1952. But why did I choose that year? There were two main reasons, one of which I’ll come back to in ‘F is for...’. The second is that I wanted a date that was significant, iconic (if I dare use that most over-employed of words). 1952 was the beginning of an epoch that lasts to this day; it was the year Elizabeth II came to the throne. Indeed the majority of people in the UK have known no other monarch. Just as a period of real history began in 1952, so does my alternative one. Like I said: I enjoy bending reality!


  1. Oooh the start of a beautiful friendship with Sam tinkering at the keyboard in the background knowing that of all the gin joints in all the world they will always have Paris...

    Sorry to hear about your back. But Book 2 sounds like it's worth all the pain! I can't wait!

    Take care

  2. Kitty - thanks for your comment. At the moment I'm not convinced the pain is worth it (!) but back slowly mending...

  3. You could almost have called this 'Postcard from Casablanca' you know!
    K x

  4. K - I'm saving that for when I disappear to Morocco on a research trip!