18 September 2006
About three weeks ago I set myself this date as the day I simply had to start writing the book, so for the past fortnight it’s been a frantic scrabble to get to a stage where I feel I’m ready to go. I’ve almost been living in the Imperial War Museum and at the National Archives in Kew, but thankfully I’ve come across some really good stuff, including a brilliant description by an SOE officer of his attempt to go behind the lines and assassinate a leading German general. His mission didn’t exactly go to plan, but his descriptions of what he saw in Northern Italy and his sense of what was going on were fascinating. It made me think I’d like to use him in the book but there was no Christian name, just â€˜Major B. Barton, DSO, MC.’ Fortunately, I later discovered that despite the initial, he was always known as â€˜Johnny.’ I’d like to find out more though
Anyway, today I did start and hope to have the Prologue finished by Wednesday. The most enormous effort is required to sit down and write the first line and then paragraph, but I was quickly reminded that once I get going all is well.