J. A. Matern interview October 2013

What made you want to write about WWII?

Both my parents were born during the war in London so it has held a fascination for me for many years.

Why does the book start in London with a bombing?

My grandparents lived on a street of terraced houses. As I child I was vaguely aware that across the street was a small block of more modern looking flats (apartments). It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I learned that the reason they were there was because a bomb had destroyed the original houses during the war. In fact, my grandmother was home and upstairs and ran to see what had happened to find the stairs gone.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

No! Now that my six children are older I have more time to pursue hobbies so I thought I’d try my hand at this. It was a lot more fun than I thought it would be.

Are you writing any other books?

I am thinking about writing a sequel to this book. Children helped the war effort on farms and I thought it might be fun to send Matthew to one and let him have an adventure there. I am also writing a Regency novel for teens and women, a la Jane Austen.

What are some of your other hobbies?

Reading, sewing, genealogy, tap dancing and photography.

Is it true that you went to the same University as J.K. Rowling at approximately the same time?

Yes we both went to Exeter University at about the same time but we were never acquaintances.

For more information about Julie Matern go to her website: