DUNKIRK BEACHES, where Albie lies half-conscious and dreaming about home in my novel Helter-Skelter, are described exhaustively by historians, which made my job of writing about them easy.
After that introductory chapter, my novel takes you back 15 years to the time Albie is remembering, and the story moves inevitably back to Dunkirk.
DIARIES It is early in 1940 when Albie and his pal Bert cross the Channel as soldiers, but there is a dearth of information about those first months of World War 2. You can imagine my delight on discovering diaries on-line – real accounts written by actual soldiers about what happened to them. There was even a touch of humour here and there, and true incidents which I could adapt and work into Albie’s story.
The moral? Follow every thread, however tenuous – you never know when it might lead to treasure.