Background To Dead Ernest
I originally submitted Dead Ernest for the Richard and Judy ‘How to get Published’ competition. The competition attracted 46,000 entries, and I was lucky enough to be a runner-up. Macmillan said they’d like to publish the novel, and of course I was delighted.
The idea for the book had been in my mind for some time.
Having experienced widowhood in my late forties, I had begun writing a novel about three widows, but very soon found that one of them, Annie, (who I must add was the one who was least like me) took over, and in the end it was her story which I told in Dead Ernest.
When I began the novel, I had no idea where it was going, but in the end it wrote itself; it was as though Annie was telling me her story, and I was simply writing it down.
I had to do a certain amount of research, as some of the book is set in the 1940s, and I am especially indebted to Norman Longmate’s fascinating collection of wartime reminiscences: How We Lived Then.