Saffron Walden author’s wartime experience brought to life in latest book

Victor Watson is celebrating his final book in his Paradise Barn series

Victor Watson is celebrating his final book in his Paradise Barn series - Credit: Archant

A children’s author is celebrating the release of his final novel – and it has already been tried and tested by his own grandchildren.

Victor Watson, of Hilltop Lane, Saffron Walden wanted to write a series of children’s books from what he remembered from his own childhood.

Now his fourth and final novel of the Paradise Barn collection, Everyone a Stranger, which is set towards the end of the Second World War, is available in bookshops and online.

Mr Watson, 77, said: “It is immensely satisfying. The best thing is knowing people out there are reading my books.

“I was surprised to have got this far because it is hard work and I knew it would be. There was a lot of going to schools and talking to children, and it was all worth it.”

Paradise Barn starts in the grim closing months of 1940 and it ends with the fourth novel in the summer of 1945 at the end of the war.

The book follows three characters, Molly, Abigail and an evacuee called Adam, and the first three books are adventure stories and crime thrillers.

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The latest instalment is a coming-of-age story as the central characters face the changes that will come at the end of the war.

All the books were read by Victor’s granddaughters and he said they seemed to enjoy them even though “they would tell their grandad anything”.

Before he started writing fiction for children, father-of-three Mr Watson was head of English at Homerton College, Cambridge, and he is the editor of The Cambridge Guide to Children’s Books in English.

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