Friday, 22 April 2016

A Day in the Country

It's been quite a week. Back Home is now well and truly launched. If you missed the post about the party, it's HERE. It was a lot of fun and nice to meet some Accent authors (and my editor) in the flesh.

In order to drum up interest in the book, I've been posting on blogs all over the place, which has left me with not that much energy to post anything on my own blog. If you want to read any of last week’s efforts, they're still available – check the addresses in the poster below.

Inevitably, I'm suffering something of a sense of anti-climax at the moment. According to Amazon, nobody is buying the book, which I know is untrue, so I'm expecting a sudden surge in reported sales once their systems catch up with reality. If you're still wondering whether or not to buy it, have a look at THIS post and then get your money out. It's only £2.82 on Kindle. (Why £2.82? I have no idea: Amazon still getting their act together, I suspect. If you hang about, it may well go up to £2.99.)

I calmed myself down after the excitement of the party by going to Bletchley Park for the day on Saturday. This is where Britain's codebreakers worked during World War II. Their success in breaking the German Enigma codes is said to have shortened the war by about two years. It was a massive effort, involving experts from all of the British services and with some of the key breakthroughs coming from work done by Poles in the run-up to the war. It's a huge site; at its height, 10,000 people worked where. There was far too much to take in on one visit and we will be going back. Meanwhile, here’s a taster: the house itself, an Enigma machine, and Turing's office, where he made such a massive contribution to breaking the code.

It's strange to think that this is the place where so much was achieved. Many people say that it marked the beginning of modern computing science, although Turing’s Bombe (a rebuilt version is pictured below) was not really a computer. The work done at Bletchley Park  certainly marked the beginning of modern cryptanalysis. After the war the place was closed down but most of its functions are now replicated at GCHQ in Cheltenham.

Well, that's how I wound down. Next week I'll be back working on the next book and posting about novels of the Napoleonic wars.

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