I guess it was my father who first stirred my interest in World War 2. During the war he was a reserve officer in the Army, but as a schoolteacher he was not called to the front line. His role instead was to be ready to man the defence lines if the invaders ever reached the little country town where we lived.
Walking the byways around that town, years after the war ended, he could point out the tank traps and pillboxes still skulking there, festooned in weeds, waiting for the invader who never came. Even in a rural corner of Northern Ireland, hundreds of miles from the likely invasion sites in England, they had prepared.
My interest stayed passive during a long career in the technology industry, but with retirement came the opportunity to do more research. In Churchill's History of the Second World War, I discovered the sentence that took my story from pure speculative fiction, to the maybe, just maybe, category.
As a genre, Alternative History can run the gamut from wild fantasy about goblins and death-ray machines to tight stories based on small quantum shifts in timing, facts, or outcomes; the assassin's bullet that missed; the flap of the butterfly's wings.
My stories belong in the latter category. If you enjoy them, please let me know via a review on Amazon, or contact me via my website: www.bernardneeson.com
The photographs show me, on land and at sea, and the house and lake at Chartwell, where An Invitation to Hitler opens.