Making Hay @ The Hay Book Festival

I spent the yesterday meeting other authors and talking to people about my new book at the Hay Festival. I hope next year I will be presenting myself about my new novel, The Very White Of Love. 

Background to the book The Very White of Love is based on a true story. After my mother’s death I discovered a chocolate box full of love letters from World War Two. But they werent from my father. They were between my mother, Nancy, and her fiancé, Martin Preston, the nephew of the poet Robert Graves.

The Mystery In The Box I pieced together the fictional narrative using the letters to write what I hope is a heartbreaking and timeless love story. After a whirlwind romance, Martin is sent to the battlefields of France in 1939, telling Nancy their love will keep them safe. Then one day, his letters stop.


Who Was Martin Preston? “I had always known of Martin’s existence.Right up to my mother’s death, under the glass on her dressing table, next to pictures of my father and her three children, she kept a faded photograph of him, sitting on a bench in a cricket blazer, his face turned to the right and one hand resting on his knee. Dark shadows under his eyes give him a dreamy, faraway look.”

Reading Martin’s letters 70 years on was like meeting a long-lost family member.“The mysterious young man in the photograph had acquired a voice; a character – it was a writer’s gift.


About sworrall

Writer with @Natgeo; author of The Poet and The Murderer; and the forthcoming Starcrossed: A Romeo And Juliet Story in Hitler's Paris (2022)

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