The strangest thing happened to me as I turned to the Wyrde Woods in the 1940s for a new series in my fictional High Weald Setting. I decided to have one of the characters start off with a chapter in Brighton, as this would really set the wartime theme quickly. Starting to write, I realised I didn’t know a thing about Brighton in 1940 and I got in touch with some social media groups interested in the history of Brighton. I was overwhelmed with enthusiastic responses. So many that the first intended chapter grew to a novella and then to a Mid Grade novel in which Brighton features as the main setting. There is an outing to Rottingdean for cream tea (I was told the Brighton experience was incomplete without such an expedition) and only towards the end does the character finally ‘escape’ to the Wyrde Woods in the High Weald.
Researching all of this and visiting Sussex and Brighton in particular I have realised what a folly it was to see the High Weald as a separate entity, Sussex consists of the marsh, cliff country, Downs and Weald and to separate them is just plain silly.
None-the-less, I will try to return to the Wyrde Woods as much as possible after this prolonged outing in Brighton, though I have to admit Hastings is beginning to get its hooks in me too, I return there ever more frequently these days.
The new wartime Brighton tale has been published on Kindle and as paperback and is called: Will’s War in Brighton.