by anthology editor Heloise Mezen
I’m delighted to say that I have received from their authors the first two stories of the Call to Arms anthology; the stories have been accepted and sent back to the authors with editing suggestions, and I’m eagerly awaiting them back again to send out to the proof-reader.
‘Proof-reader?’ I hear you saying. ‘When the deadline isn’t until May?’ Which is true, of course, but I am sure you’ll understand that nobody wants to deal with a spate of stories all at once; a gentle flow is far more manageable!
So, if you have an idea for Call to Arms, stand not upon the order of its writing, but write now! Send it soon! I really am happy to receive stories whenever before the deadline they may happen to arrive.
Or, do you want to write a story, but are so far without an idea? I have read a fair amount round World War 2, so perhaps I may make an observation here: it really was a world war, and stories from all round the world could form part of the collection. For those of us in the UK it’s easy to think of it as a Western European struggle, and to forget that the Balkans (again) and Russia (again) were involved: civilians and fighters from Africa, Australia, Burma, the Caribbean, China, India, Japan … many places to choose from, and many sorts of people, whether refugees, evacuees, soldiers, sailors, airmen and women, prisoners of war or simply people trying to live their lives in unimaginable circumstances.
And here, just because I can, is a story.
I was with my father about a month ago, driving round North Norfolk looking for a World War One training camp (a long story, to do with my job) and Dad started reminiscing. Not about 1939-1945, when he was an evacuee (his mother with Civil Defence and his father with the Army), but about his National Service in the 1950s, when he was posted to Catterick on the North York Moors (which has been a military base since the Romans called it Cataractonium, and later when it may have been where the British called Catraeth). He and his platoon were out fire-fighting, because the moors are peat moors, and Dad remembered rather enjoying himself in the sunshine. Then he asked what my WWI trainee served as, and when I said “RAMC” he chuckled.
‘What’s so funny?’ I asked.
‘The RAMC had a little caravan up here, and they ran a brothel from it.’
I didn’t ask him whether he’d taken advantage …