Today I’m excited to share with you an interview with Tom Palmer, author of the brilliant book After the War: From Auschwitz to Ambleside. Set at the end of the World War II the story follows the children who came to the Lake District in the UK here after surviving the holocaust, it’s a lovely, touching story of hope and friendship and you should all give it a read! 😀
In celebrating the release of After the War I’ve been lucky enough to get the opportunity to interview author Tom Palmer about the book and some of his other work. I hope you enjoy the interview and don’t forget to check out more about the book below. 🙂
Can you tell us a bit about After the War and what inspired it?
It’s the story of three Jewish boys who, having survived the Holocaust, are brought to England as refugees, directly from the concentration camps to the Lake District. My wife heard a radio programme about them and strongly suggested I listen to it. I did. Then I spoke to the Lake District Holocaust Project and they helped me to write the book.
How much of the story is inspired by real events and how much is made up?
All of it. Every scene is based very closely on survivor testimony.
How much research did you do to write After the War?
Loads. As well as the survivor testimony, I read books, interviewed survivors, watched films and visited the sites where the events in the book take place: Lake Windermere and the concentration camps. It was a huge task and 95% of my research didn’t go in. But I had to know as much as I could so as to not make any mistakes.
The Holocaust can be a difficult subject to talk about especially with kids. Why do you think it’s important for children to know what happened?
Genocide is happening now in the world and will happen as today’s children grow into adults. If children today understand what happened in the past they are more likely to be able to help people suffering genocide in the future.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Spend time with my family. Travel. Go to historic sites. Run in the countryside. Read. Watch football. Walk the dog.
Are you working on anything new?
Yes. A book about Roy of the Rovers’ sister, Rocky, as she becomes a football legend in her own right. It’s out in October. And a new book for Barrington Stoke about the Arctic Convoys.
What is the best thing about being an author?
Being paid to do your hobby.
If you could live in any book, which would it be and why?
The Bible would be pretty interesting.
About the Book
Summer 1945. The Second World War is finally over and Yossi, Leo and Mordecai are among three hundred children who arrive in the English Lake District. Having survived the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps, they’ve finally reached a place of safety and peace, where they can hopefully begin to recover.
But Yossi is haunted by thoughts of his missing father and disturbed by terrible nightmares. As he waits desperately for news from home, he fears that Mordecai and Leo – the closest thing to family he has left – will move on without him. Will life by the beautiful Lake Windermere be enough to bring hope back into all their lives?
About the Author
Tom Palmer was a reluctant reader as a child and credits articles about football with getting him into reading. He went on to become a bookseller and then worked in reader development. He is now the multi-award-winning author of several books for young readers including the acclaimed reboot of the Roy of the Rovers series and the FCBG Children’s Book Award winner Armistice Runner. In 2019 Tom was awarded the National Literacy Trust Ruth Rendell Award in recognition of his significant contribution to literacy work in the UK.
Thank you Tom for joining us on the blog today. 🙂 Wow, it’s so amazing to hear that the entire book is based on real life testimonies and I also agree that the Bible would definitely be an interesting book to live in. 🙂 Please do check out After the War, it’s a wonderful story that everyone should read. You can see my review of it by clicking here.
Have you enjoyed this interview? Have you read any of Tom Palmer’s books? Are you interested in reading After the War or giving it to your children to read? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂