First novel by Len, 85, reveals wartime life
PUBLISHED: 11:15 11 May 2015 | UPDATED: 13:28 11 May 2015
An Exmouth man has published his debut novel at the age of 85.
Leonard ‘Len’ Wells, who lives at Roswell Court, has had Wilkie’s War: One Man’s Story of Wartime Britain published as an ebook on Amazon.
He wrote the book, a novel based on his real experiences growing up during World War Two, in sections, taking several years, without really expecting it to be published.
His wife, Elsie, had always wished to see it in print and, following her death last year, their sons, Philip, who also lives in Exmouth, and Christopher, resolved to make her dream come true.
When asked how it felt knowing that his book could now be purchased and read by people all over the world, Len said it was ‘awesome’.
Reflecting on how the book had been written, he said: “I’d write a chapter, and think ‘that will be useful for later on’, and gradually built up the whole thing.
“My wife was very encouraging about the whole thing. I never really thought about publishing it.”
Len, who previously worked in printing, says all the events in his book are based on real life, though the names have been changed.
Discussing his inspiration, he said: “The way things were happening during the war, when people talk about ‘wailing and gnashing of teeth’, it wasn’t like that.
“People realised they had got a problem to deal with and they dealt with it in their own way. My book emphasises the humorous side, which always seemed to me to be lacking.”
Len’s sons are currently investigating getting the book published in physical form, but it is available to download as an ebook from Amazon now.