I’ve just got around to putting the details up about my first book, a Spanish Civil War novel called A Most Uncivil War. The idea for this novel came about after several people commented on a couple of my essays that had recently been published on the war. One was focussed on the anarchist revolution and the other was on the people’s Olympics in Barcelona. I spent some time going through my notes and realised that there were stories that were jumping out. Although the history books gave a lot of insight, it was very much the memoirs of the people that did it for me. One of the other motivations was that I had been struggling for some time to find a Spanish Civil War novel about the anarchist revolution to read. So my mind was made up.
When I started, I hadn’t tried writing fiction in nearly fifteen years. Staring at the blank screen on the first day was massively daunting. However, I quickly realised some of the benefits of writing an historical novel; the timelines, the major events, the social dynamics … much of this was already planned out. And on top of that, when I was growing up I spent a lot of time in rural Spain. My memories are still very vivid, and some of the happiest times of my life have been walking through the dusty streets and sitting below the shaded veranda’s in just such a village as appears in the novel. All that was left for me to do, was to find my protagonists. And they were waiting for me in my imagination.
When the paperback was finally in my hand, I started sending copies out to all the progressive papers, magazines and websites that had previously published my articles. Although most of them were happy to use free content when I was submitting articles, they weren’t even willing to consider looking at a Spanish Civil War novel about Spanish Anarchists. Thankfully, not all of them were quite so elitist. The Morning Star, Tribune, The Manchester Military History Society and Unite all took the time to read the book, and tell others what they thought of it. For that I will always be grateful.
If you would like to know more about A Most Uncivil War, the reviews it received, or even where to get a copy from, please click through to the page.