In the 1970s someone gave me a photograph of a man in uniform, supposedly my great-grandfather. I found it interesting but then put it away. A decade or more later it re-emerged and I began a search for my ancestors. It took over twenty years to find what had happened to the man, a journey which took me back to 16th century Warwickshire and 19th century Ireland, to India, Malta and South Africa. It told me more of the lives of ordinary people than any history teaching in school.
When I began my writing adventure in the mid-2000s, I knew there was a story to tell but I didn’t have the experience or the skill to tell it. I hope I now have. Having written four Inspector James Given novels, A Handkerchief for Maria is a new departure, and one I hope my readers will enjoy.
A Handkerchief for Maria is a novel, fiction. Many of the situations were real, if not for my family, then certainly for others. Some of the characters are based on real people, or at least my imagining of them, but history and memory are strange places to go, and not a word of it, like Maria’s stories, should be believed as true.