The Germination of Over A Spitfire

Summer 2011

“I’ve got a great idea for a book for you,” my son Mark stated as soon as I’d got my bum on their settee, “it’ll make you a fortune.” (Ha, we wish!) He continued. “You’ve got a couple, he dies, then comes back reincarnated and they meet again.”

“I’m not writing that!” I said aghast. “It’s tempting Fate.”

“You can’t think like that or you’d never write anything.”

“They’d be different ages.”

He shrugged. “Well think about it.”

I did. My stories have a habit of happening. I’m very wary of killing characters off. I wrote about a car accident, it happened to Mark, although fortunately the outcome wasn’t as bad as in the story. My village was called Willow’s Dip. Some years later Mark and Harriett moved into Willow Drive. I wrote about breast cancer, a friend told me she had it.

“I can’t tempt Fate,” I said to Ellis as we lay on the lawn one sunny Saturday and I told him of his brother’s idea.

“You could make it a gay couple,” he replied drowsily, “we don’t know anybody gay so that wouldn’t be tempting Fate.”

I didn’t know anyone gay at that time but I’ve known a few people since. Thankfully they are fit and well and untouched by my scribings.

When Ellis left I set about a plot. What era would it have to be for a realistic relationship into a subsequent life? I thought about World War Two. I’d recently seen a programme called Spitfire Women about pilots in the Air Transport Auxiliary and it fascinated me. I’ve always loved Spitfires, proud to be Stoke-on-Trent born like Reginald Mitchell. The first one I’d actually seen was in The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Hanley, my local town many years ago when the boys were small and we’d gone for a visit in the school holidays. I thought it was such a marvellous machine as I climbed the steps and looked at the cockpit from the viewing platform. I always felt very patriotic on Remembrance Sunday when one flew over the Cenotaph at 11a.m even though the war ended ten years before I was born. I used to see my dad there and Remembrance Sunday always reminds me of him. It was my parents stories of the war years that I grew up with.

I always had a notion to fly when I was young but sadly it was a dream that was never realized, I’ve not even flown as a passenger but the reason why is another story. Perhaps I was Will, my character in the book in a former life. Maybe that’s where this story has come from. Who knows? It is neither a lesbian nor a heterosexual romance, more a story of two souls connecting across time and realm regardless of their gender.

As I progressed I reported the regression idea I’d had to Mark and Harriett. “I’d start it on the hypnotist’s couch,” said Harriett, so I did. Two years later Ellis met Holly, who told her pupils that she didn’t like the word ‘said,’ there are many more interesting words to use, so I’ve kept it to a minimum.

I knew I wanted a Spitfire for my cover and a young woman of that era, preferably in ATA uniform, but I’m paranoid about breaching copyright so I decided to use a photograph of my mum. I’d followed The Cover Collection on Twitter and they’d followed me for some years so I contacted them and Debbie created this fabulous cover for me. I hope you can see why I love it. I’m also thrilled to bits with the fabulous promotion video done for me by Rachel McGrath. It really captures the essence of the story. You can see that plus a brief chat and short reading on the Over A Spitfire page.The two great posters at the top and bottom of this page were designed by Gary Walker and again capture the era perfectly. All three people can be found on Twitter, all very talented in their creativity.

If you download the book or purchase a paperback or hardback copy, a huge thank you. If you like it could you just take a few moments to review it on its Amazon page please, it will be a massive help. Can I ask you not to do the review as invited by Amazon at the end of the book as they don’t appear on the Amazon page for some reason, they vanish into cyberspace, but instead use the link I’ve added which will take you straight to the page. Many thanks.