Welcome to the We’ve Come To Take You Home blog tour!
I am pleased to be kicking off the blog tour alongside Ali – The Dragon Slayer. Here, I’m sharing a guest post from Susan Gandar.
So what is a 21st century teenage girl doing on a 20th century World War One battlefield?
When I was writing ‘We’ve Come to Take You Home’, my film production designer father said, time and time again,
‘I don’t know how you’re going to achieve it, in terms of story, but I keep seeing a girl, a modern 21st century girl, standing in the middle of a World War One battlefield. And an active battlefield, where people are fighting and dying, rather than a 21st century one, more of a museum than a battlefield, which is perfectly possible for anyone of us to visit today’
This image stayed with me, I knew it was vitally important, but, as a writer, I didn’t have a clue how to achieve it. But then, one day, the thought dropped into my head. It was obvious. And from then on that image, that moment of story, became the core of ‘We’ve Come to Take You Home’. And, when it came to the front cover of the novel, it also became the obvious choice.
But it was only after a copy of the book had been sent to me that I began to understand that the front cover wasn’t just about that narrative moment. It’s also an image of another very strong theme running through the book.
That girl standing there in the trench could be Sam Foster, the present day protagonist in ‘We’ve Come to Take You Home’, but it could also be any one of us. And the barbed wire could be the coils found on a World War One battlefield but they could also be the coils of our fears, our doubts, which each and every one of us has tangled up inside our heads. And it’s only by climbing out of that trench, by cutting our way through those coils, by overcoming our doubts and conquering our fears, that we will be able to find our way to the peace and tranquillity of those fields, stretching away off into the distance, on that front cover.
About the book
Published: 28th March 2016 (Matador)
‘Powerful, intelligent and moving …’
Graeme Simsion, author The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect
‘We’ve Come to Take You Home’ is an unusual and compelling story of love, loss and the importance of family.
Samantha Foster and Jessica Brown are destined to meet. One lives in the twentieth century, the other in the twenty-first century
April 1916 and thousands of men have left home to fight in the war to end all wars. Jessica Brown’s father is about to be one of those men. A year later, he is still alive but Jess has to steal to keep her family from starving. And then a telegram arrives – her father has been killed in action.
Four generations later, Sam Foster’s father is admitted to a hospital’s intensive care unit with a suspected brain haemorrhage. A nurse asks if she would like to take her father’s hand. Sam refuses. All she wants is to get out of this place, stuck between the world of the living and the world of the dead, a place with no hope and no future, as quickly as possible.
As Sam’s father’s condition worsens, her dreams become more frequent – and more frightening. She realises that what she is experiencing is not a dream, but someone else’s living nightmare…
We’ve Come to Take You Home is an emotionally-charged story of a friendship forged 100 years apart.
For a chance to win a signed copy of the book, open internationally please enter here: Rafflecopter – Good luck!
About the author
My father, John Box, was a film production designer, working on ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, ‘Dr. Zhivago’, ‘The Great Gatsby’, ‘A Man For All Seasons’ and the musical ‘Oliver’. (Click here for more on John ) Our house was always filled with people, usually eccentric, always talented, invariably stroppy, discussing stories. My mother put my father’s four Oscars to good use as toilet roll holders, doorstops and hat stands.
A major chunk of my childhood was spent loitering around on film sets. Who needs an ‘English education’ when you have the polystyrene-coated streets of downtown Moscow, ten miles outside of Madrid, to explore?
But then the years of ‘Who Will Buy My Sweet Red Roses’ came to a rather abrupt end. Reality knocked on the door in the guise of the Metropolitan Line to Shepherds Bush and the BBC. Working in television as a script editor and story consultant, I was part of the creative team responsible for setting up ‘Casualty’. I became known for going after the more ‘difficult’ stories at the same time successfully racking up viewing figures from 7 to 14 million.
I went on to develop various projects for both the BBC and the independent sector. The period I enjoyed most was working with Jack Rosenthal, a wonderful writer, on the series ‘Moving Story’ – ‘That’s a situation, a good situation, but now you need to make it into a story.’
Martin, my husband, was made an offer he couldn’t refuse and we left England to live in Amsterdam. ‘Ik wil een kilo kabeljauw, alstublieft’ will, if all goes well, buy you a piece of cod – I decided to concentrate on my writing rather than my Dutch pronunciation.
My debut novel, ‘We’ve Come to Take You Home’, set in the present and in 1918, a crossover aimed at the adult and young adult women’s popular fiction market, was published on 28th March by Matador.
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