Join prizewinning author Jean Fullerton at Wanstead Library this month as she discusses her latest novel A Ration Book Childhood, which explores a dangerous secret, set in the darkest days of the Blitz.
Hello everyone, and for those of you who don’t know me or my books, I’m Jean Fullerton, an award-winning, bestselling author of 15 historical novels.
I’m also a native East Ender, born and bred in Stepney where my family have lived since the 1830s. Unsurprisingly, all my novels are set in the overcrowded and boisterous streets around the London Docks. I believe my background gives me a unique home-grown perspective into the history and culture of the old riverside communities.
I first fell in love with history at school when I read Anya Seton’s book Katherine. Since then I have read everything I can about English history but I am particularly fascinated by the 18th and 19th centuries and my books are set in this period. I just love my native city, and the East End in particular, which is why I write stories to bring that vibrant area of London alive.
My first series introducing the Nolan family spanned the 1830s and 1840s, after which I jumped forward to the lean, post-war years of the late 1940s for my east London district nurse series featuring nurses Millie and Connie.
My current Ration Book series follows the Brogan family as they battle Hitler and each other during the dark days of World War Two. The first three books in the series, A Pocketful of Dreams, A Ration Book Christmas and A Ration Book Childhood are already released, and A Ration Book Wedding will follow in May 2020. I’m currently working on A Ration Book Daughter scheduled for release in May 2021.
But writing a book is only one side of the coin; having someone read and enjoy it is the other. When I’m not worrying over the plot and creating characters you fall in love with, hold your breath for and shed a tear over, I love getting out and about meeting readers.
I do this in a variety of places by giving talks on my life, historical talks based on the research I’ve undertaken for my novels in libraries, Women’s Institutes, U3As and other organisations, and even on cruise ships. Yes, I know it’s a hard job, but someone has to do it!
Readers are everything. Without them, my stories are just paper and ink. As I already said, I love meeting readers and explaining how I craft the ideas rattling around in my head into a cracking 400-page novel. With that in mind, I look forward to meeting all you lovely Wanstead readers this month.