Love, second chances, and resilience. Three things that have described humans for centuries, yet our thirst for these stories doesn’t fade. Which is why we’re so excited to welcome our guest for the day, Glynis Peters!
Thank you for inviting me along, it’s great to join you.
THE FORGOTTEN ORPHAN is your third World War II novel. They could be considered a series as each book centers around orphans, yet each book has its own cast of characters. Was your research different for your newest release?
The Secret Orphan is based around the Coventry Blitz, which meant I’d already enough research under my belt for the second book The Orphan Thief. Whereas my third, The Forgotten Orphan is set in Southampton. The Juno Beach battle and the introduction of a sailor to my last book, meant I had to look deeper into the British Naval situation during the war. I also needed to find out what happened when the injured military forces arrived back at Southampton docks. Also, the orphanage in my book actually existed but under a different name. I researched it quite heavily and was delighted when I received two emails from former residents, who said they recognized what was once their home. This made me feel the extra hours spent on research were worth it. I also had to research more about the area I chose in Canada to end the book, and again an email from a lady who leaves near the area wrote to me and recognized the place, so that was a ‘phew’ moment as I’d never been!
We’re suckers for WWII fiction because of the strong emotions. And you gave Maisie, the young woman who ends up in charge of the orphanage turned rehab center for soldiers, a courageous heart. Maisie had grown up in the orphanage she finds herself in charge of. She loved the children, but for their safety she must say goodbye. And with their departure goes her the only identity she’s ever known, caretaker. How does Maisie handle that shift?
In true Maisie style, she takes a deep breath and opts for survival. With her situation changed so dramatically, she finds ways of caring for others, albeit cooking a meal for passing soldiers or helping a resident with shellshock find a way to work through his terror. Maisie finds a way to continue caring as it is in her nature.
And Maisie managed to search for answers to her family while the blitz, the nightly Nazi bombings, was taking place. It’s fascinating how people manage to go about daily life during extreme circumstances. Laundry gets done, doctors check on their patients, and people fall in love. How did Cam, the injured paratrooper, help Maisie?
Cam gave Maisie something she’d needed so badly in her life, and that was love not just romantic love, but the love of another human. He offered her friendship and encouraged her to express herself in her poetry. It helped her vent her deep-seated emotions and released the pressure she’d imposed on herself to not face the past. He showed her the world outside of the orphanage and encouraged her to trust people and never give up her dreams.
Love does amazing things. And writing a love story can be fun! What scene in THE FORGOTTEN ORPHAN was your favorite to write?
I think it has to be the kiss under the walnut tree! I just felt the joy of Cam and Maisie embracing one another in the sunshine. She’d had a tough shift and to have a wonderful surprise in the form of Cam’s strong arms around her, gave me a thrill to write such a simple moment of bliss.
We’re so excited for THE FORGOTTEN ORPHAN! Thank you so much, Glynis, for sharing some of this novel’s backstory with us. Congratulations on this release and we hope to see many more from you!
Many thanks for your support! I’m thrilled to say I have signed a new contract and will be writing another WWII project in the form of a saga series!