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Background photograph: Peter Cornelius




Although writing a novel, more so a trilogy, is a lonely, solitary task, there are times when a writer needs to reach out for support, for help with research, and for feedback. Here is the list of people who all had a hand in the making of the Sturmtaucher Trilogy. Please forgive me if I’ve left anyone out. Let me know and I will add you to the list.

John Gale, for the wonderful Shearwater illustration. Check out his oither work here.

Catrin Jeans and Fraser McDonald, for their advice and input regarding the covers

The National Library of Scotland and The British Library, for their wonderful collection of maps and sea charts, and the British Newspaper Archive for such a vast collection of newspaper from every corner of Britain. Special thanks to Robbie Wilson at the NLS for finding me a copy of the Buchenwald Report.

Gav Don, for recommending that I read Victor Klemperer’s Diaries

Kirsty McKerrow and Iain Russell, from the Edinburgh Whisky Academy.

Graeme Crawford for advice on German motor vehicles.

Tom Cunliffe, for being easily approachable for advice, and for his book Hand, Reef and Steer, my bible for gaff-rigged sailing, and for putting me in touch with Jeppe jul Nielsen and Leif Sigvaldsen's for Lief's wonderful photograph for the front cover of 'Flight of the Shearwater'.

Jens Kirketerp Jensen, MD, Hirtshals Hafn, and Jacob Madsen, Hirtshals Hafn historical society

Ute Kühl, Schwentinetalfahrt, Kiel for local knowledge

Steffi Blix and Anja Manleitner, from the wonderfully curated Mahnmal Kilian bunker, Kiel.

Dr. Julian Freche, Kieler Stadt- und Schifffahrtsmuseum, Kiel, for taking the time to speak with me during my visit to Germany.

The Railways of Germany Forum for pointing me in the right direction for Reichsbahn information.

David Ferguson at the Crieff Lines Railway Group

Dr Robb Robinson, Honorary Research Fellow, The University of Hull, for Hull maritime information.

Philip Sage at The Finchley County School website.

Peter Scally for his help with Cultybraggan history

Harvey L Kaplan MA, Director, the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre for information on Jewish religious practices

Leif Sigvaldsen for the image of a Colin Archer rescue ketch for the front cover, and for Jeppe jul Nielsen for finding it for me

Anne Cater, Random Things Tours for the blog tour.

TAll the blog tour participants: Bookchatter @cookiebiscuit, Reflections Of A Reader @LeahJMoyse, The Magic of Wor(l)ds @MagicOfWorldsBE, Steph’s Book Blog @sjroth21, By The Letter Book Reviews @sarahhardy681, The Book Magnet @thebookmagnet, Beyond The Books @ShazzieRimmel, Wild Writing Life @wildwritinglife, Cal Turner Reviews @calturner, Hair Past A Freckle @karlou, Cheryl M-M’s Book Blog @mm_cheryl, Berty Boy 123 @arabat

And the other bloggers who supported the launch: Yvonnne - Me and My Books @yvonnembee, jerasjamboree @shazgoodwin @ElenaSharp1, Books from dusk til dawn @susanhampson57, The Book Review Café @ReviewCafe, BookMark (Mark Fearn) on Facebook, Patricias Books @PatriciasBooks, Crimebookjunkie @nholten40

The dedicated book bloggers who have supported me and my books over the years, doing an amazing amount of hard work and asking nothing in return but a story.

All my remarkably loyal readers, especially Val Spencer and Susan Hunter, who have been unremitting in their enthusiasm for my writing.

Dee Groocock, and Audrey Gibson for their amazing support since The Gathering Storm was published.

Melanie Preston Lewis for unrelenting support and the hours she spent contacting every Jewish group and Synagogue Shul in Britain, enthusiastically spreading the word about the Sturmtaucher Trilogy.

Sharon Bairden and Noelle Holten, ‘The Twinnies’, for having my back, and for advice and support ad nauseum.

Sarah Hardy, for much advice and support, for being the first blogger to read 'The Gathering Storm', and for being so enthusiastic about it.

Michael J Malone and Douglas Skelton. Ross Greenwood. Authors helping authors.

Ask an Editor Facebook group, especially Bernadette Kearns, for advice on the difficult permissions issues.

The Book Club on Facebook, and its Reviewers Group, for once again finding me so many beta readers.

The Historical Fiction Novel Society, who's members enthusiastically responded to my request for beta readers.

My wonderful beta readers for their time, patience, encouragement and critical feedback. As a self-published author, I couldn't do it without them. They are, in no particular order:

Gill Lynch, Stuart Clachan, Teresa Murphy, Susan McDonald, Ian Mclymont, Rob Lee, Gordon Smith, Gabi Gerganova, Marc Kelly, Mary Jeans, Simon Caldecut, Marion Simmons, Kenny Stirling, Katrina Taylor, David Petherick, Fraser McDonald, Sapna Chamaria, Lauren Cohen, Fiona McCormick, Sally Stackhouse, Theresa Webber, Amanda Williams, Susan Hunter, Sydney Clark, Amanda Nellist, and Breffni Martin.

In addition, there were a handful of beta readers who also turned out to be my technical support section:

Mark Jardine, for gaff-rigged sailing expertise., and for the painting of the Der Sturmtaucher.

Pauline Mullender, for German proofreading, a former resident of Kiel.

Olaf Meys, for advice on the Wehrmacht, and National Socialist document translation.

Charlotte Bidstrup, for Danish proofreading.

Nigel and Lia Court, for their input on Jewish religion, language and culture, and for proofreading the Yiddish content, and for their humbling enthusiasm for the books.

Madeleine Black, whose father was a Holocaust survivor.

Ian Skewis, for proof-reading with great patience.

My wife Mary, for support and forbearance, and watching me disappear for five years into my 'writing hole'.

My children, and my grandchildren, and to all my extended family and friends. In the words of Erich Kästner, if it weren’t for them, none of it would matter.