I didn’t think when I first saw the road sign which inspired me to write my novel about the Radwinter family, that I would be doing quite so much research, nor that my research would take me quite so far… I can’t quite remember now how I found the idea that the family should take their name from the village in Essex when they arrived in England from somewhere else, nor at what stage I thought it might have been Poland, and nor when I realised it would be further east than that,and it was actually the Ukraine that the two brothers originated from.
Thomas, the character in my novel who is doing the research, writes down little notes as he explores his heritage, so having found out about troubles in Warsaw when the Polish Army rose up against the Russian oppressors, he has now found out that the Ukraine too, came under the Russian yoke, until 1918… and the freedom it gained then lasted two years until it became a Soviet republic. I’m not sure how detailed to do the notes Thomas writes, i don’t want to bore my readers, and there are a lot of other things to write about in the story.
It has surprised me, though… when I saw that signpost ‘To Radwinter 3½ miles’ I never dreamed the journey would actually be over 1500 miles! At the moment it’s all on paper and in my head… maybe one day I can really go there!