The seeds of my series The Spoils of War were planted way back. As a Forties kid growing up in a house without a television I spent winter after winter in the company of countless books – both fiction and non-fiction – that had emerged from a war that still felt close enough to touch. My dad had flown in Beaufighters. My mum had been under the London Blitz. Their stories were the written word made flesh and bred a fascination with how war can touch literally millions of lives.