Colin Barron has realised his life-long dream to write a Second World War thriller. Caroline Lindsay finds out more.
As a child Colin Barron was a typical boy who loved reading Commando and The Victor comics – and making Airfix models.
The Dunblane man’s interest in war and aviation has stayed with him all his life, along with a talent for writing that started when he was at school.
But a career in ophthalmology and then running a nursing home with his wife Vivien didn’t leave much time for creativity.
And then, tragically, in 2011 Vivien suffered a very severe stroke caused by a previously undiagnosed heart tumour.
Colin says: “I became Vivien’s carer but then I myself suffered a very severe heart attack, requiring me to spend four months in hospital and have two operations.”
As a result, Colin had to close down his hypnotherapy business and, at the age of 59, decided he would write a few books.
With three non-fiction books under his belt he has now realised a lifelong ambition to turn his hand to thriller writing and has recently published Operation Archer, an Alastair MacLean-style Second World War adventure.
The novel tells the story of a man who travels back in time from 2019 to 1944 where he finds himself living as an RAF bomber pilot who is then shot down. He then takes part in a British Commando raid on a German underground weapons factory which is producing Haunebu – German flying saucers capable of travelling at 5000 miles an hour and winning the war for Nazi Germany.
“I already knew a great deal about the Second World War, the aircraft, tanks and so on so I didn’t need to do too much research,” reveals Colin, who cites Ian Fleming, Frederick Forsyth, Alastair MacLean and Thomas Harris as important influences.
“But I did read a book about the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and also the SOE Field Manual. I also read the wartime pilots’ notes book for the RAF Lockheed Hudson aircraft to ensure the flying scenes were accurate.
“I hope readers are inspired by the tale of survival against overwhelming odds, and that the action sequences will excite them,” he continues. “There is also love thread which people might identify with.”
When he’s not enjoying his pastimes of walking, cycling, reading and making Airfix models, Colin is working on a book about time travel movies before he cracks on with his second thriller. He’s also hopeful that Operation Archer might become a film.
“I’d be really pleased if that happened,” he smiles.
Living proof of someone who hasn’t allowed adversity to dominate his life, he has some sage advice for anyone who feels they have a novel in them: “Never give up. Ignore critics. Write about what you know and draw on your own life experiences for authenticity,” he says.
Operation Archer is available from Amazon Kindle Unlimited or £5.47 in paperback.