Today, spring brought with it the first hard copies of my book. I’m beyond thrilled to finally have it in my hands. The artwork and cover are beautiful, thanks to my brilliant team at HQ Stories, above all my editor, Charlotte Mursell. Here is a bit of background:
Love Letters In A Chocolate Box
After my mother’s death, I found a chocolate box full of letters in the attic . They told the story of her love for Martin Preston.
Nancy Whelan met Mr Preston when he was a student in Oxford in 1938. The two young people fell madly in love and got engaged when the Second World War broke out. Mr Preston enlisted, travelling to Northern France in January 1940. But within a short time his letters stopped and he was never heard from again.
The Second Lieutenant is thought to have died while manning a machine gun post in Hazebrouck, northern France.
The Story Behind The Story
The true story has prompted me to write the novel The Very White of Love, published next month by HarperCollins imprint HQ.
“I had always known of Martin’s existence. Right up to my mother’s death, she kept a photograph of him under the glass on her dressing table, next to pictures of my father and her three children. It showed Martin sitting on a bench in a cricket blazer in Oxford, 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 Mr Preston’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.
By recreating Martin’s journey through France, I was able to track down the final known location of Martin’s battalion with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, although not conclusive details about what had happened to Mr Preston.
The Very White of Love by SC Worrall is published on June 14 by HQ, price £14.99.
I also have a new dedicated FB page, where I will be posting regular updates, so please check it out: https://www.facebook.com/SCWorrall/