Adult,  Big Book

A Cellist Soldier

Robert J Fanshawe

A British Battalion moves up ready for the World War One 1917 battle of Arras.
A much loved Regimental Sergeant Major is blown up, the man taking his place intensely disliked.
A patrol is sent into No Man’s Land to rescue a casualty crying for help.
One soldier, a cello player, throws his rifle away when the wrong casualty is shot in frustration.
Threatened with Court Martial, he walks alone to find the real one, imagining playing his cello.
He finds him, legs impossibly injured, pulls him from the mud and carries him towards a German medical station.
The casualty, Sergeant John Wall, a real soldier shot for desertion in 1917,
dies and the cello player is taken prisoner. He runs from the medical station wearing a red cross apron.
On returning to his own line he is arrested.
Witness a flawed Court Martial and a bizarre final ‘victory’ which is to have a profound effect
on Ben the cellist’s friend and the fundamental question of justice in war.

Author Interview

Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
My favourite character in this book is the cellist – Marcus. I have outlined the reasons above. Of course he is the main protagonist and he is also nothing like me. So writing his character was a challenge and I enjoyed it.
What is your favourite drink to consume while writing?
My favourite drink while writing is I think red wine.
Do you have any bad habits while you’re writing?
Bad habits while writing – loads. It takes me ages to started in the day and often I don’t start till late. That could be because I have other things to do. I try to get them done. But in reality I’m not that organised so I end up not doing the things I should have done before writing.
How did you research your book? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
How did I research my book, plotter or pantser. I’m definitely the latter. I research minute by minute when I need some information. The internet helps in that respect as some much detail is at your finger-tips. But a more detailed approach to research is definitely called for on my part.
If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose and why?
Living in a fictional world; I would probably choose Paris in the 1920s. It is a fictional world now, almost a surreal one. It had a sort of carefree romance though which appeals, though as with everything there was a dark side.
If you could befriend any fictional character, who would you choose and why?
The fictional character I would chose to be would be Jack Reacher of Lee Child’s series. He is the ‘Righteous Avenger’ that most men would somehow like to be in an ideal world where wrongs can be put right. He is also big and always wins fights, though it is not in my nature to get into them. Then of course he usually gets the main female character as well though there is never any commitment which is not in my nature either.

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: June 2020
Format: Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age: Adult
Source: N/A

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