14th October 2014
The day had started pretty much like any other. Sitting in my office at Lookers – Ellesmere Port. I was responding to the usual emails from management, staff or customers and the guys were getting the department prepared for the pending annual stock check (Something I can only liken to pulling teeth, but a necessity none the less!). At lunch, myself and a good friend of mine Adam Williams had decided to take the company accountant out for something to eat…not the best idea as he was generally the tightest person in the company. I returned with a full belly and the usual urge to fall asleep after being fed and watered. I continued working at my laptop for an hour before deciding to take a break.
As I sat there, I noticed a tiny ball of light glance across the wall. Realising it was from my watch, I slowly turned my wrist and like a little child would, I toyed with it for a few moments until something quite inspirational happened…I can’t explain here as it may spoil the story. But at that point my mind went into overdrive as if I were possessed and the whole story literally poured out of my head!
I went back into my department and told my Assistant Manager Dave Pugh about what had just happened and my idea for the story and he stood looking at me, puzzled, with his first words being…”how the hell?” From that night I started work on this project, I had never written anything more than a few pages and that night I must have put down at least 20 pages in storyline alone!
While researching about the Second World War in France I stumbled across the atrocities of Oradour-Sur-Glane, which shocked me and stimulated my interest in the region. This led me to discover the Tulle Massacre, another horrific act carried by the Nazis. All men between 16 and 60 were rounded up, 99 men were hung over three days and many more died in concentration camps. The more I visited this town in my research (although never physically stepping foot in the place) I grew to love it and I could picture my story oozing from the 18th century buildings around the town.
Apart from generating storyline, creating scenes and developing dialogue, I also did a tremendous amount of research into various mechanical procedures and time calculations to make the story possible. At one point a friend connected with the railways told me it wasn’t possible what I had queried him about, so I went away and spent hours figuring out how to make it happen. There are a number of things that I could talk about, but I would rather do that in person.
For the next three years I worked from 10pm until 2am (Sometimes 3am) trying to knit this story together to make it work, then up at 6am with wife and kids for breakfast and another day in the motor trade. With my best friend and wife Laura there to bounce ideas off and my Parents who read every single page I put under their noses, I took this adventure across a number of countries – in my mind, until 15th January 2018 when I wrote ‘The End.’