The more that I'm learning about the lives of ordinary people during the war the more I'm realising that there is no such thing as an ordinary person. Everybody has a history, a tale to tell.
I started to plan out this book with the single notion that it is very easy when you're young to look at an old person and not see them. Age makes you invisible.
How many times have you walked through a busy shopping centre and tutted to yourself because your way is blocked by an old lady walking with a zimmer frame? Do you ever stop to think that in her day she may have been a gorgeous young flight attendant working for BOAC who was cut off from her Middle Class family because she fell in love and married a handsome young Egyptian pilot?
No, well you're not alone. All most of us see is somebody in our way, an old dear who is stopping us from getting back to the office in time for our very important meeting, an obstacle to work around.
I want to make the reader stop and think the next time they see an old chap, 'what's his story' and to do this I have to be as factually correct as I possible can be - hence all the research - it would be to do the Max's of this world a huge disservice to make a fundamental historical error - and the more I am getting to know Max the more I am determined to do him proud.