ED: How do you account for our continued appetite for stories from World War Two and stories of survival?
MC: Wars generate extremes–heroism and cowardice, generosity and selfishness, death and survival, and so on. Those extremes fascinate, but they raise fundamental issues. We all ponder, at some time, how we would behave faced with unimaginable danger or hardship and those thoughts touch our moral core: would we kill/betray/connive for our survival or those of our loved ones? How far would we go? Stories of war – of other peoples’ heroism or brutality – allow us to make those decisions vicariously and let us off the hook for the time being.
War could so easily happen in Europe again, if we are not careful.
ED: Are you working on another novel? If so, what are its themes?
MC: My next novel is set in the Channel Islands under the German occupation and in it I am exploring themes of betrayal and survival in the war, and their reckoning after the war. But I am also trying to invert – or subvert – some of the usual stereotypes, and tell the story through two very different characters and perspectives. Watch this space…