No such thing as bad publicity?

From the giddy heights of Radio 4 to… well, the very local. This week I’m being interviewed by the Hounslow Chronicle and Get West London. Though this seems like sweating the small stuff, I know I shouldn’t turn my nose up at local media.  Any attention is welcome in a world stuffed with shouty people clamouring for print and online space. If it results in a single sale it’s worth my while.

Perhaps more important to me than (even) sales at the moment is the response I’ve just had from some of Elaine Madden’s living relatives in far-flung parts. Cousins in Australia and Canada who have followed the progress of the book with interest and helped me with photos and family information have at last had the chance to read it and let me know what they think.

This is always a tricky moment. We all have our own idea of how a certain character in our lives should be portrayed. Does a biography enhance or destroy that image?  Luckily, they loved it, all of them saying unprompted that they felt they learned so much more about her and the times she lived in.  And they also said something else that surprised me: that they didn’t realise before reading it what Londoners (and indeed ordinary people in the UK and Europe generally) went through during the worst of the Blitz and WW2.  We take it as read; but it’s new to so many others.

Time for a quick sandwich before Get West London calls…

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