Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Real Lives

The Footballers' Battalion, WWI
I was at Wolves' Molineux stadium today, delivering a Premier League Reading Stars training day.

I was excited to read that the training was to take place in the Major Buckley Suite.

Major Frank Buckley (pictured in the team here) was a key figure in the WWI footballers' battalion, a whole battalion made up of footballers and football fans too.

The book I was working on earlier this year - and will be working on again in early 2012 - is about the battatlion and Buckley is a key character. As are Sid Wheelhouse and Fred Bullock (also on the picture). The book is called Over the Line.

All of my books to date have been made up. A boy who solves football crimes. A fictional Premier League football academy. A team who represent England at football, some of whom are spies.

But Over the Line is about real people and real events. A lot of it is fictionalised, but I try to keep it as close to what did - or would have - happened.

That's why it was so exciting finding the pictures and letters to do with Buckley at Wolves. And why - in the spring - it was striking to stand at Sid Wheelhouse's grave in France.

These events remind me that I must be careful because I am writing around real lives.

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