When I first met my wife Judith, her father Bill Chambers was a wheelchair-bound pensioner with a lively sense of humour and full of stories about his experiences during WWII (which I'm sure you'll read more about via Judith's 'Bill's War Blogs').
Remembering The Past
It was around this time that Judith had her father's memories taped. Subsequently I volunteered to document these as the basis for writing a book. I didn't realise, though, what I was letting myself in for at the time: Bill's stories were all very detailed (his long-term memory was still crystal clear) but unfortunately not all in the right order (shades of 'Morecambe & Wise' and Eric's piano-playing prowess – 'all the right notes in the wrong order!'). It took me 3 years to sort them all out, which included my registering as a researcher at the British Library in London at the time. Judith is now writing the blogs with the intention of turning them into a book.
Looking Back To The Great War
It was during this period of research that I repeatedly came across references to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and how that incident had started WWI. I became more and more intrigued: how could a single assassination (there were actually two) start the bloodiest war the world has ever seen? After a further period of research I discovered that, although the identity of the assassins was known and also how the assassination was actually carried out, very little was known about their backgrounds and how they planned the deed itself. And so I decided that there could be an interesting story in this – a 'factional' story based on the known facts of the main event itself complemented with realistic fiction about how it all came about in the first place, plus a final factual section on the consequences (how the world changed forever).