Welcome along to my Friday post to celebrate Indie Publishing! Today I am delighted to bring you another book from Cranachan Publishing and share my review “The Revenge of Tirpitz” by Michelle Sloan. I was also lucky enough to grab a few minutes of Michelle’s time so interrogated her thoroughly for the author feature!
Published: 24 August 2016
TWO BOYS. TWO COUNTRIES. ONE MISSION.
When Erik strikes up an unlikely friendship with German Radar operator, Hans, the pair soon become involved in a race against time to help destroy the Nazi warship, Tirpitz.
Will their secret mission succeed?
Finn’s great-grandfather receives a letter threatening the “revenge of Tirpitz”. They escape on a fishing boat, making the perilous journey to Norway, where they realise that facing up to the past puts their future in danger…
We know what you did.
We know where you are.
Tirpitz will have her revenge.
My Thoughts & Review:
For as long as I can remember, I have held a fascination with WWII stories, whether it’s tales of heroic Resistance fighters, espionage or even just the determination to survive and so when I found out about “The Revenge of Tirpitz” I knew this book would hold a tale of some interest for me. For those not familiar with the Tirpitz allow me to share a very brief history (if you know your German battleships then please ignore me here, or perhaps do read on and let me know if I’ve missed anything pertinent).
The Tirpitz was the largest battleship built in Germany for the Kriegsmarine (German Imperial Navy). The specifications of such a ship were impressive and she was viewed as a great threat, she was also the sister ship to the Bismark so reputation alone was enough to strike fear into many. After the sinking of the Bismark, the Tirpitz was sent to guard the waters of Norway (the Third Reich believing that Norway was vital to conquering Europe). Various attacks against the ship by the British RAF ended in failure, until 12 November 1944 when the RAF carried out their successful bombing raid.
For detailed information on the raid please head over to the RAF website: RAF: Tirpitz, November 12 1944
Back to the book…..
With such a wonderfully intense and atmospheric opening this book captured my attention immediately, who was this man, why was he hiding from the Nazis, who was helping him, why did he need to get away were all questions running through my mind. What then follows is a magnificent set of stories from different timelines that interweave perfectly, linking together the Resistance movement of Norway in 1944 and modern day Shetland.
This is a thrilling and enjoyable read, not only does the book have a cracking plot, but it has characters that readers cannot fail to care about. Add in an abundance of detail and this feels like a book you can actually take some knowledge from, yes I am aware that “The Revenge of Tirpitz” is a work of fiction, but the way that it ties to real events is brilliant writing. For those interested in more reading about the Shetland Bus, there is a website where information can be found (http://shetlandbus.com/), and for me the link to this added a real authenticity to the tale.
The action packed tales are ones of courage and resolve, the key aspect of the plot for me is that it’s children who are the key to the mission. Putting a young person into this role makes the tale more accessible for readers, and I am sure the target audience (Young Readers aged 9-12) will utterly love this, the idea that even someone their age could so something so heroic and decisive and make an impact. That said, I also think that this book is an excellent read for all ages, I might just be more than double the suggested reading age ( plus a few…..) but something about this book resonated within me.
An utterly brilliant wartime tale that I would absolutely recommend!
Michelle trained as a Primary Teacher and worked for many years in Edinburgh, before indulging her love of all things theatrical by returning to university to study Drama. After dabbling in performance art in Glasgow, and starring in a one woman show in Edinburgh, Michelle finally settled on a speciality in Arts Journalism and developed a new, unknown passion for writing! After a few reviews for ‘The List’ magazine, she turned to scribbling creatively.
When it comes to writing fiction for older children, Michelle is inspired by the stories and bravery of previous generations – particularly those connected to WW1 and WW2. Focussing on historical fiction gives her a fantastic opportunity to engage in research and to bring those stories to life with an exciting modern day twist.
What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?
It’s definitely a buzz when someone contacts you out of the blue to say they’ve enjoyed reading your book. That is an amazing feeling! And the writing itself of course is immensely rewarding – when you’re lost in the characters and the plot. It’s blissful escapism.
What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?
The waiting! When you send off your manuscript it’s a long process to publication. It can be frustrating. And I can’t stop checking my email!
If you could have written any book what would it be and why?
Argh! So many! Too many to choose just one. It seems every time I read a book I like I feel a sort of crushing disappointment in myself that I didn’t or couldn’t create something so ‘plot perfect’! Actually, I recently re read The Secret Garden with my children which is just such a beautifully crafted, complete and exquisite children’s book. Damn! I wish I’d written that! You see? It’s why we writers are our worst critics!
How do you spend your time when you’re not wrapped up plotting your next book?
Reading, waiting and checking my email! Oh and cursing myself for not having written the last book I read….but you also might find me dancing round the kitchen with my children and dog. We’re partial to a disco night.
Do you have a set routine for writing? Rituals you have to observe? I.e. specific pen, silence, day or night etc.
No, not really. It’s more a case of opportunistic squeezing it in between school run, teaching, cleaning, cooking and all things domestic. It’s a challenge and often I’ll procrastinate but the pay off is the reward of maybe 1,000 words on my computer screen. And that always feels like an achievement.
A huge thank you to Michelle for taking part in the author feature and telling us a little about herself (from on kitchen dancer to another!). Michelle blogs regularly at https://michellesloan.co.uk/ and you can find her on Twitter at @michlsloan
If you are an independent publisher or author and would like to feature on “Celebrating Indie Publishing” Friday please get in touch – email and twitter links are on the “About Me & Review Policy” page