I have just published my follow-up book “None Stood Taller, The Final Year”, which I hope will be enjoyed as much as the first story about Lily Heywood, whose life changed so dramatically after she was just one more victim of the London Blitz in 1941. The character Dotty, who is one of Lily’s greatest friends, seems to demand a book of her own, so watch this space for news of that‘None Stood Taller’ ………… The Sequel.
Lots of kind readers have asked about the follow-up book. ‘None Stood Taller’ has been exceptionally well received, many of the UK comments have been really gratifying. The common theme seems to be that readers have taken Lily to their hearts and want to find out about her relationship with Edward. The other often mentioned comment concerns the historic detail of the war and of life at the time. What I didn’t expect was for readers to empathise so closely with the atmosphere and hardship of the war years, and the historical details. I am still not sure where the balance lies between fact and fiction. Clearly there is the risk of alienating one group of readers in favour of the other.
The follow-up book is exactly that, it takes up the story from the day after D-Day. The plan is to continue Lily’s story through to the end of the war; I am currently about half way on that journey. I have delved deep into the historical record about the V1 and V2 vengeance weapons which had the potential to change the course of the war. Station M plays a pivotal role in that regard. I am also trying to capture more of the detailed progress of the Allied forces in Normandy, and the sense of desperation felt by the British people.
Against that backdrop, Lily has to resolve the love triangle she finds herself in. Edward’s sister Lady Elizabeth comes home from America, and Lily immediately finds herself in conflict with her. Lady Beatrice remains a marriage contender, much to Lily’s consternation. There are many challenges for Lily to overcome, not least her continued struggle with her inner demons. The conflict concerning her true father finally comes to the surface. Dotty emerges as a war hero, and Florence becomes a significant character. Lily finally achieves her life’s ambition to sing in a concert. And that is just the story so far!
The success of ‘None Stood Taller’ has been nothing less than inspiring. I now want to continue Lily’s story and take it to new heights. When will it be available? With any luck early this summer. Sign up to be notified when it becomes available and please give me your feedback.
The “None Stood Taller” story developed into so many layers, by the time I arrived at D-Day it was obvious that to continue on to VE Day would require another novel. I didn’t set out to do so, but I hope you will agree that it is inevitable. I deliberately left Lily’s relationship with Greg hanging in the air. I introduced the ‘marriage contender’ as well as Florence’s new situation. There is also much more to Lily’s strange childhood, and the mysterious Uncle George. And the astute reader will remember that Edward’s sister Lady Elizabeth was portrayed as a ‘difficult’ person. These are just a few of the avenues I intend to pursue in the follow-up novel.
My initial idea is that the threat from the V1 flying bomb, and later the V2, provide the catalyst for Station M to regroup. The repercussions from the V1 threat become immediate and all too apparent for Lily. Lady Elizabeth is rushed home from America, and Lily finds her life in turmoil, confronted by both her and Lady Beatrice. Lily will need all her courage and determination to deal with her personal life while she ensures Station M completes its task. Tragedy once again visits itself upon her, as well as a new challenge which she could not envisage. Can Lily really step into danger as a field agent with Dotty at her side? If special circumstances dictate, perhaps she can. I have no idea, but I will invite Lily during the winter of 2020/21 to sit next to me and write her own story.