Recently I was reading and talking about What the horses heard at the lovely Worcester Literary Festival. The slot before me was a talk about the legendary Sven Somme by one of his daughters, Ellie Targett. Sven Somme was a member of the Norwegian Resistance against the Nazi occupation of his country during WW2 and as well as delivering an underground newspaper he managed to spy on Nazi plans and movements with incredible cunning and great courage. on one such mission the glint of his camera gave him away and he was arrested, facing torture and execution but somehow managed to escape and then had to trek alone for two months across the huge snowy mountains from Norway into Sweden: another feat of daring and strength and, thanks to his previous experiences as a spy and the brave, great-hearted people who lived there, survived.
His book Another Man’s Shoes also includes the story of the trek made by his daughters following in his footsteps and who found his shoes he had swapped for walking boots.
For many reasons, this story chimed with me, no less because my first novel, Liar Dice, has some resonances with this as it is about the Italian Resistance in the mountains during the war where my own father had been a partisan. Mine however is fictional. My Italian walk book around a valley in the Maritime Alps is called Footsteps…. Meant to echo ‘Following in the… ) The e-book of Liar Dice is currently on a discount of 2.99 at The Hive where you will find other titles.
For anyone interested, I shall also be talking about What the horses heard and about Historical Fiction as a genre at Ways with Words Festival of Words and Ideas at Dartington on Tuesday July 8th at 11.45 and running a poetry workshop for those who would like to find a way into poetry on Weds, July 9th at 2 (I think). For the period of this Festival, Amazon should be offering a special discount of £2.50 on the Horses e-book, too.