Paul Alan Fahey on Weep Not for the Past:
One of the best books ever written about wartime London, for me at least, is unquestionably The Night Watch by Sarah Waters. What was so compelling about this book, set during the London Blitz, was the storyline that followed a group of ambulance workers, ministry clerks and building inspectors -- women in love and in relationships with other women -- through the nightly raids. To be honest I'd never read anything quite like it. And to make the book more unique and creative, it was told backwards. Uh-huh. You've got it right. She wrote the book backwards from 1947 to 1941. As I said, nothing quite like it.
Ms. Waters' book set me to wondering about gay relationships during those times. What must it have been like for a man to be in love with another man, perhaps, living with him, and forced to playing it close to the vest due to the horrendous English laws against homosexuality? With an idea to start, a title, Bomber's Moon, and a climax I envisioned in a lighthouse on the English coast, I created the main characters, Edward Bridger and Leslie Atwater, who are torn apart during the first months of the bombing. At the outset, I wanted to tap into the emotional effects on Londoners living with death day in and day out. In short I wanted to explore what was then called shell shock or battle fatigue, what we refer to now as post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as other themes.
A diehard fan of Agatha Christie -- especially her Miss Marple village mysteries -- and wanting to spend more time with my Bomber's characters, especially the supplementary ones of Caroline and Cyril, I set to work on the sequel, Weep Not for the Past. I think of this novella as a light historical/English cozy mystery with a bit of romance tossed in.
I hope you enjoy Weep Not for the Past as much as I loved revisiting these characters. I'm already working on a third entry in the series, A Manx Tale, set on the Isle of Man. Did you know there were "enemy" alien internment camps on the island? I didn't either. Stay tuned.
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