Out and About

by Phil Johnson | September 12th, 2011

Well, it’s been a busy old few weeks since the publication of Thunder in May. Not only have I been doing the publicity for this latest novel, I’ve also been setting up some of the research and other bits and pieces for the next one. At this stage, all I’m going to say is that the next novel will also be World War Two, but this time a late-war scenario. Rest assured I am planning to write it in the same action-packed style as the first two.

So, what have I been up to? Well, firstly, as it was the anniversary of several former colleagues being killed in action in various theatres of war, I decided to pay a visit to the National Arboretum at Alrewas, near Burton-on-Trent in Staffordshire. It’s a while since I’d been and I was very impressed with what they’ve done to it. If you’ve never been then you should. It’s tastefully and cleverly done, and when the trees mature a bit more it will be a pretty magical place. Already it has a very calm, serene beauty about it.

The picture above is of the main memorial wall, where the names of eleven of my former comrades are listed. The statues inside the circular wall are fantastic and very thought provoking. Below is a picture of me squatting by the name of Lance Corporal Simon Ware, the first of my friends to get killed in action, whilst serving in Northern Ireland in 1991.

The Household Division Memorial was opened about a year ago, and it is situated in one of the more secluded and mature areas of the Arboretum. Its plain white stone and black railings are designed to reflect the architecture of the buildings on Birdcage Walk and The Mall in London. A Coldstreamer must have been there before me and left the painted plaque that you can see below.

In addition to my little pilgrimage to the Arboretum, I made a visit to the Imperial War Museum in London to do a little research and I will post some photos in the very near future. Most exciting of all though was my book-signing weekend on 3rd and 4th September. The Saturday saw me at a typical English County Show; The Eccleshall Show, whilst Sunday saw me at The Other Partizan wargames show at Kelham Hall, near Newark.

The Sunday was especially enjoyable as I bumped into an old comrade who I hadn’t seen in more than ten years, and of course, I was surrounded by people who share my passion for military history. It was great to speak to so many of you who had read Seelowe Nord and then kindly come back for a copy of Thunder in May. Suddenly, the whole author business became very real and I had a great time discussing all things military, as well as drooling over some of the beautifully painted wargames figures on display. Below is a picture of me five minutes before H-Hour, awaiting the onrush of visitors to the show. My huge thanks must go to Richard from the Newark Irregulars Wargames Club who organised the event with his colleague, Laurence, and who proved to be a gracious host on the day.

One of the most reassuring moments of the day came when a gentleman announced that he had read both novels via his local library already, but who then purchased a signed copy of both books. Thank you very much indeed to that particular gentleman. I am hoping to hold a few more of these events over the coming months, as a precursor to holding some slightly larger book-signing events in the Spring and Summer of next year when book No.3 is published.

Anyway, I will leave it here for now. Coming soon will be some more photos of weapons and equipment that feature in both novels, along with an update on my future projects. Happy reading to all of my readers, both new and old, and take care. As ever, remember to keep low and move fast.


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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.