Huge congratulations on winning your Chill Award! You must be so happy that your work has been recognised in this way. Now, before we carry on, would you please introduce yourself to my readers, just in case they don’t know you already …
Hi, I’m John Orton and am the author of Blitz PAMs that has been given two Chill Awards the Readers Award and the PB Special Award – it is also a Discovered Diamond for historical fiction and an indie BRAG medallion winner.
So, your book has been awarded with a Chill with a Book Readers’ Award, what inspired you to write this story?
I was working on a sequel to ‘the Five Stone Steps’, the first book in my series ‘Tales from Old South Shields’, and needed a last chapter set in the War. Once I started researching the War years I realised how hard the town had been hit and that there was enough material for a whole book not just a chapter. I then stumbled upon the Police Auxiliary Messenger Service – I’d not even heard of them before – lads aged between 16-18, with their own bikes who took messages during air raids when the phone lines were down – the PAMs of the book’s title – It really stirred my imagination and I just started writing….
What does the award mean to you?
It’s very difficult for indie authors to get reviews and these awards are a tremendous boost to me. As an author, the main thing for me is to know that someone has enjoyed reading my book and is prepared to tell others about it.
What other titles have you published? Tell us a little about them …
‘The Five Stone Steps, A tale of a Policeman’s life in 1920’s South Shields is a fictionalised version of the memoirs of Thomas ‘Jock’ Gordon who served in the Shields Police from the 1920s to the 1950s and became a Station Sergeant.
Are you working on a new book? Tell me about that …
My new book is a part prequel/sequel to the other two, telling readers more about characters who have already appeared – it concentrates on the race riots involving the Arab and Somalian seamen in Shields and the pit lock-outs of 1926.
When not writing, what can you be found doing?
I play old style piano and like to potter in the garden – I now live in the South West of England but like to remember my Shields roots with the odd bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale!
Which three authors have most influenced your journey to becoming an author?
Erle Stanley Gardner for his pacey writing and slick dialogue, John Mortimer for his storytelling , and John Irvine because he’s a great writer.
Why did you choose the genre you write in?
Pure chance – I was thinking of writing a police whodunit set in South Shields in the 1900s and a friend of mine gave me his father’s memoirs – I found my niche!
Which other genre would you chose if you had to change?
Detective mysteries – main snag, I have tried it, but my memory’s not good, and I kept forgetting the clues I’d left!!!
Quick fire questions …
Twitter or Facebook?
Tea or coffee?
Marmite – yes or no?
Early riser or sleep in?
The morning hour hath gold in its mouth.
Pj’s or ‘normal’ clothes when writing?
Planner or pantser?
Book or kindle?
Book for English, Kindle for French so you don’t have to get up to use the dictionary
Pineapple on pizza – yes or no?
And finally, … What is your favourite book of all time?
The Count of Monte Cristo
Thank you for joining me today and many congratulations again on your Chill with A Book Award!
Blitz PAMS is out now and you can get your copy over at Amazon UK
Britain in September 1940 has seen the retreat from Dunkirk, and the entry of Italy into the War. The RAF has withstood all that the Luftwaffe could throw at it in the Battle of Britain, but the German Blitzkrieg is just starting. The first bombing raids have hit South Shields and the town prepares for worse to come.
The Police need more young PAMs (Police Auxiliary Messengers) to be ready to take messages on their bikes in the event of a raid and if the phone lines are down. Mossie Hamed, grocery delivery boy, is one of the volunteers who become the Blitz PAMs. Although, in his own words ‘not ower clever’, Mossie tells how the next eighteen months change the lives of him and his ‘marras’ and of the many other unsung heroes on the home front.