An army wife from Beeston has just had her novel, The Gunner Girl, published. The tale is set in World War 2 and was written whilst her husband was away in Afghanistan.

Clare Harvey, 45, began writing her novel when her husband Chris was sent to war-torn Afghanistan in 2012. He was on a 6-month-tour as a Major with the Royal Engineers when his wife felt inspired and put her pen to paper.

The mum-of-three found out Chris’s late mother, Grace Nelly Smith, was a teenage soldier in London on the ‘ack-ack’ anti aircraft units.

This further convinced  Clare to create a War-time tale so she set out to research her mother-in-law experiences.

She researched by visiting the Imperial War Museum, reading historical books, listening to old tapes and going to re-enactment days.

Despite being a working mum, Clare found the time to create the story about three women who were soldiers in the military who share lost love, tears and danger during World War II

“It’s a love story, a coming of age tale and also a tear jerker!”
clare Harvey, author

“I never met my husband’s mum because she died when he was quite young. I found out she was a soldier in World War II and she was on the anti air craft guns in London.”

“I asked my husband if there was any family members I could ask, but he said if she did have any family she left them all behind.”

“So I thought what would cause somebody to leave their family behind and join the army, to be 17 or 18 and leave your whole family behind to go war. There has got to be a story there and so I’ve written a love story, a coming of age tale and also a tear jerker,” Clare said.

The 45-year-old writer is set to publish a second novel, a spin off of the The Gunner Girl with one of the character’s continuing story.

She said; “I’m just writing up my last edits and sending it to my publisher next week. It will be out sometime towards the end of this year.”

The Gunner Girl is available in Watestones, Blackwell’s and Amazon.