Month: July 2016

Escaping Hitler Presentation at Mulbarton Words Festival June 2016

I am indebted to Terence Burchell from Mulbarton near Norwich for this video of me speaking to a lovely audience at Hanover Gardens, Mulbarton in June this year, as part of the Mulbarton Words Festival.  I hope some of you will take 30 minutes of your lives to watch as I describe the early life of Joe Stirling, Kindertransport boy and former Sheriff of Norwich, as well as a little about how my debut biography came to be published by Pen and Sword Books in January.  In January 2017 this remarkable man’s story will be available even more widely when Skyhorse Publishing of New York publish and distribute my book to the book lovers of the U.S.A.  To purchase a signed copy directly from me take a look at the menu on this WordPress blog to find my contact details.  Many thanks….

Royal British Legion Wymondham meets Joe Stirling!



Joe and I had a wonderful evening yesterday (18th July 2016) visiting members of the Royal British Legion, in the picturesque Norfolk town of Wymondham.  There was an excellent audience for our presentation on Joe’s biography, Escaping Hitler, and you could have heard a pin drop during Joe’s 30 minute long talk about his early life in Nazi Germany.  I picked up the story when he joins the British Army, showing some photographs from Joe’s years as a soldier, rarely seen at our talks. They especially enjoyed the photo of Maryhill Barracks in Glasgow (whispers of ‘I trained there’) and the one of Joe’s wife Jean inside a shell casing at Bramley Barracks near Basingstoke.

There were people there who had known Joe in past years and he was delighted to share personal memories with them. A retired member of Lions Club International endorsed Joe’s wonderful work with them for over fifty years. We felt very welcome and were impressed by the large number of books we signed at the end of the evening!  Our thanks go to  Chairman John Morter and Entertainments Officer Roy McGee for inviting us to share Joe’s remarkable story with your members.




SIX MONTHS AGO today, 5th January 2016, my debut biography Escaping Hitler (foreword by Shirley Williams) was published by Pen and Sword Books.  I will never forget the incredible moment when my first 200 copies arrived in six boxes at my house! And when I first presented Joe Stirling with his personal copy!  Since that date so much has happened to me and to the book that I felt this was an appropriate moment to share the phenomonal achievements so far.

Over 30 published articles and reviews including local Archant publications, the Journal from the Association of Jewish Refugees, Lion Magazine and the Rhein Zeitung, regional newspaper for the Rhineland around Koblenz.

Grand official launch at Jarrold Department Store in Norwich on 4th February with 220 people in the audience.  We signed over 50 books that night!

Appeared in Jarrold’s National Bestsellers lists for five weeks running, including No.1 during week of February 13th 2016!

29 Public and private talks and powerpoint presentations including two in Germany (Koblenz Federal Archive and the village of Nickenich).  Seven more in the diary between now and July 2017.  More welcomed!

Escaping Hitler appears in Norfolk Libraries. Waiting lists build up to borrow copies.

403 followers on Facebook and 112 on Twitter

542 copies sold directly from me and Joe, 297 of them signed and sold at our speaking engagements.

From the initial 1300 print run Pen and Sword is now down to the final 200 in the warehouse.  Plans for a further hardback run and a little later for a softback.

In March this year New York Publisher Skyhorse bought the option to publish and distribute Escaping Hitler onto the U.S. market. Projected date for this is January 3rd 2017. I have recently received my Authors Questionnaire in order for us to work together on a marketing plan.  (This was beyond my wildest expectations!)

Escaping Hitler entered for two major Book  Awards – watch this space!

And finally, as a result of the marketing successes so far, I am now contracted to Pen and Sword for a second biographical book: My Lady Lord Mayor: The Seventeen Female Lord Mayor of Norwich 1923-2017.  Estimated publication end 2017/early 2018.

So more work ahead!!

My sincere thanks to everyone who follows this blog, my Facebook page and my Twitter feed, and especially those who have already bought and read the book!  Without your support the statistics would not look nearly as good!

Don’t forget – by clicking on the menu at the top of this page you will find full details of how to order your personally signed copy directly from me. The book makes a great gift!







East Anglian Festival of Culture here I come!

Thirty copies of Escaping Hitler pre- signed by Joe Stirling, Paypal machine charged, 50p coins ready in plastic tub, tablecloths ironed and set to go.  Tomorrow, early, I will be setting off to the beach front in Lowestoft to join dozens of other authors at the inaugural East Anglian Festival of Culture, set up and arranged by writer Suzan Collins. Looking forward to presenting my biography to visitors, writers and bookworms alike.  Two days of readings, book signings, workshops and discussion.  I will be at the Clyffe Hotel from 10am tomorrow (Saturday 2nd July) until eight in the evening, and again on Sunday 10 – 4.  Maybe I will see you there….

Here is a story from today’s local Lowestoft newspaper: