Although ‘Arras South’ and the companion volume, ‘Arras Memorials’, have been researched and written up since July 2014, there’s still the editing and proof reading to do, so it’ll be the autumn of 2015 before they appear in print. At times, that will take up a lot of my attention, as will promoting the books in one form or another, so there’s not going to be much time in 2015 for research.
Meantime, one of the things I’ll be doing is looking out for some of the stories I’ve missed, particularly those featured in other books on the Great War. Throughout “Visiting the Fallen” I’ve made lots of references to previously published memoirs, as well as battalion, regimental and divisional histories. I wasn’t able to tap into all the books I have on my shelves at home, so I intend to spend the rest of the year reading some of them to see what else there is relative to Arras.
One of the main reasons for referring to other works on the Great War was to bring them to the attention of anyone not already familiar with them. All the ones I mention in “Visiting the Fallen” are well worth searching out. One of the things I intend to do later in the year is to do a piece for the website featuring the eight books I would take with me if I were cast adrift, something along the lines of ‘Desert Island Discs’.
With regard to the story of Arras, “Visiting the Fallen” is far from complete; in fact, it’s one of those projects that will never quite reach a conclusion as long as there are still new stories and people to discover. I’m not going to turn it into an obsession, but I’ll definitely be putting material aside for future reference, and maybe even sharing some of those discoveries with my readers here on the website.
I’ll also be thinking about where to go next with my writing. I do have another area of the Western Front in mind for another title in the series, “Visiting the Fallen”, though that may not turn out to be an immediate project, and it certainly won’t run to three volumes. There’s also another story I’ve been keen to cover for a while, but its early days yet. Once the next project is under way, I’ll make sure it’s announced here on the website.