Author’s update March 2011

by Author | March 2nd, 2011

Hello again, sorry it’s been so long since the last post, but life has been hectic of late. This has mainly been due to me working overtime to try and get the prequel ready to go off to the publisher for the 1st April, with a release date around mid-late June on the cards at the moment. I’ve also been in contact with a Fallschirmjager reenactment group who are kindly going to supply images for the cover of this latest novel. My part-time job doing Youth Work has kept me away from the computer more than I would have liked, but I have now retired (again) so I can concentrate on the writing full time.

The next book is not an alternative history but a dramatisation of the German offensive in the West and the evacuation from Dunkirk, bringing back some of the popular characters from Seelowe Nord. I have managed to squeeze in a couple of small play-tests of the Seelowe Nord scenarios with my new Flames of War figures, starting with the fighting withdrawal of the British armoured screen covering Driffield. Was quite an entertaining game actually, although my dream is still to lay on a massive campaign using the book’s scenarios and 25mm figures using some of the other popular rules systems.

As you can imagine, when writing about something which really did happen, and not that long ago, I have had to be a bit more faithful to the facts than I was with my Seelowe Nord scenario. That said, I have been trying to add some extra spice in order ensure that readers get plenty of battle-action scenes again.

Now that the book has become fairly well known, I have started bumping into people who have read it and who are very keen to share their thoughts with me. This always leads to some interesting discussions, and sometimes gives an indication of who has bothered to read the novel’s foreward, and who hasn’t! Just for the record, as a former soldier of 24 years, I am more than aware of the improbability of German invasion in 1940. I have enough experience of amphibious operations to understand the complex nature of such activities. I am also familiar with the many arguments that still rage concerning just about every aspect of the Second World War. As I have said in the foreward, I have simply assumed for the benefit of the novel that the Germans have managed to perform a minor miracle and land on British soil, aided by some extra destroyers that weren’t sunk in Norway (which I made up), and some specially designed landing craft that Admiral Raeder has managed to rustle up (which I also made up).

I had no intention of starting up the old debate of ‘could they or couldn’t they?’ but if people wish to talk about it then they are most welcome, as long as they buy a copy of the book so I can donate some more money to my very deserving UK military veterans’ charities! Like many people, just talking about military matters is great stimulation for me, so if you do bump into me, please don’t hold back; I do like a good natter! Thank you also to all those who expressed their appreciation of the battle-action scenes in the book. Generally, it appears that I seem to have hit the mark. I have used my own experience of combat to guide me through this and many other veterans of infantry and armoured combat, both recent and not so recent, have all said how they have been able to identify with the reality of these passages.

As a reminder, in financial year 2010-2011 I am supporting ABF: The Soldiers’ Charity and the Current Operations Casualty Fund of the Coldstream Guards. In addition to this I have also decided to start making regular donations to Project Hougoumont (www.projecthougoumont.com) in order to help preserve this historic battlefield site for future generations. Hougoumont is the spiritual home of my own regiment, which helped defend it on 18th June 1815, and several years back, whilst I was still serving, I arranged for my battalion to purchase copies of the two excellent paintings that have been produced in support of the campaign. The project now has official charity status which is excellent news.

Anyway, I am beginning to waffle. My soldiers used to tell me I did that a lot! I will leave you now and get back to the prequel. If you’ve already bought and read the novel, thank you. If you liked it, then I am pleased I was able to offer you an entertaining read. If you didn’t enjoy it; sorry – I will try harder this time. If you haven’t read it all, please go and get yourself a copy so I can boost my annual donations to some very worthwhile causes. Until next time… stay low and move fast.

AJ

One Team – One Fight

4 Responses to “Author’s update March 2011”

  1. Similar principal as that used in “When William Came: A Story of London Under the Hohenzollerns”: make the Royal Navy go away so the Germans can land. You need to have some method of getting the enemy ashore although I am doubtful this is the most likely but then it’s your tale not mine. At least Munro managed to get a (useless) fort built at Dorking on the back of his story and the ruins of it are still there. Doubt you will manage as much but folk all enjoy a good yarn. Hackett, like Munro, was making political points with “The Third World War: August 1985″. They also made money on their writing, is that the only goal?

  2. Well just finished the book, am suffering withdrawal symptoms so please crack on with the prequel!

    Excellent writing, if I may say so, really fast paced yet with what seems to be an authentic feel. As a ‘former naval person’ I was thrilled that the Royal Navy’s role was so well interwoven into the plot.

    I liked the German comment about the Swordfish torpedo bombers being ‘absurd little biplanes’ or somesuch. How true! Yet in the hands of the Fleet Air Arm, quite devastating.

    As a recent serviceman, one of the greatest priviledges was meeting and talking with some of the vets who flew and crewed these ‘stringbags’, to get an inkling of what it was that allowed them to succeed with this kind of gear!

    Great book – more please!

  3. Thank you so much for your kind comments. Really pleased so many people have enjoyed the book; it’s spurring me on with the prequel. That said, it also puts the pressure on to make it a good one! Just recieved a thank you letter from one of the charities I’m supporting for this year’s donation so it’s definately worth writing, if only to help out some great causes. I’m planning on the prequel hitting the market around end of June – if the publisher approves it of course! Many thanks again – AJ

  4. ‘End of June’ – Bonza!

Welcome!

Seelöwe Nord is the online home of Andy Johnson, a war fiction novelist. Seelöwe Nord is a war novel that tells the alternative history of Operation Sealion, the proposed German invasion of Britain in 1940. Followed by Thunder in May, and the recently released Crucible of Fate, the trilogy of War Fiction remains a popular read within the genre.

Andy has also started to publish small Leadership and Management Booklets drawing from his extensive experience across many sectors and industries, both military and civilian, the first of which is entitled Captains of the Gate and is now available for download on eReaders directly from Amazon.