Alex Gerlis tells the story of how his first novel, The Best of Our Spies, came to be written.
The origins of The Best of Our Spies go back to the spring of 1994, although it was to be a number of years before I started to write the book.
June 1994 was the Fiftieth anniversary of D-Day and at the time I was an Assistant Editor on BBC Breakfast News when I was asked to lead the programme’s coverage of the Fiftieth Anniversary of D-Day.
At the time, my knowledge of D-Day was fairly superficial. When I did History A Level, the Crusades were regarded as modern history.
I was aware that my father’s eldest brother, a sergeant-major in the Kings Royal Rifles, had landed in Normandy a day or two after D-Day, at the same time as his younger brother was flying RAF Lancasters over Occupied Europe.