Guest Pride of Poppies Author – Wendy C Fries

Lovely to welcome Wendy here today.

What grabbed you so much about the Pride of Poppies submissions call that you had to send in a story?

Three answers to that. No, four. They are: Julie, Julie, Julie, and honouring.

I have met Julie only once, through our mutual writing friend, Narrelle M. Harris, and such an impression of joy and verve and delightful wickedness did Julie make that I have already pestered her three times to come visit me in London and be plied with coffee and cake. The other reason this anthology so appealed to me is that, since moving to London 18 months ago, I’ve been overwhelmed by the honour the city has paid to those who died in World War I. The centenary has seen a literal pride of poppies at the Tower of London, memorial benches honouring the fallen, bus sides scattered with painted red blooms, and new memorials. By sharing a story for Julie’s anthology I was glad to do a very tiny bit toward honouring those who did—and still do—fight in our name.

What were the particular challenges about writing a story set a hundred years ago?

Unlike my writing friend Kim Le Patourel, who is deeply informed about the era—from uniforms to armaments, critical dates to rank—I knew very little about this time period so I decided to focus on the one thing I was pretty sure about: For two men in love a hundred years ago life wouldn’t have been easy. So how might they have shown their affection for one another, what words could they use for all to hear, how would they love?

Do you have a ‘hero’ (or heroes!) from WWI? Who and why?

To be honest, I don’t, largely because of my ignorance of the era. I do have a hero though, a man who fought an unkind world with kindness and dignity: Joseph Carey Merrick, the man they called the Elephant Man. His was a gentle soul that, had he lived past the age of twenty-seven, well he might have lived through WWI and I do wonder what such a good man would have made of this first in our great and awful wars.

What are you working on at present?

In the past month I’ve had my first book published, “Sherlock Holmes and John Watson: The Day They Met,” through MX Publishing, and what I’m working on right now is not bombarding my publisher with ideas for books two, three, four, and five. When I’m failing at that (I pitched him a Sherlock Holmes erotica collection yesterday), I’m working on completing my BA in Film and Media.

FRIES wendy the day they met

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