Hilda Campbell was born in the north of Scotland in 1889. She married German national Dr Willy Bűttner Richter in 1912. They honeymooned in Scotland and returned to settle in Hamburg. Dr Richter died in 1938. After visiting her ailing parents, Hilda returned to Germany just before the Second World War began. She became a double agent, controlled by Gerhardt Eicke in Germany and Lawrence Thornton in Britain. How could she cope under such strain, and with her son Otto in the German Army? Nor did she expect her evidence to be so cruelly challenged at theNuremberg Trials. Learn of her post-war life, which took her abroad as a British Ambassador’s wife.
This is an extraordinary story based on the life of the author’s great aunt, Hilda. The book includes several authentic accounts.
Information about the Book
Title: A Reluctant Spy
Author: Miller Caldwell
Release Date: 24th September 2019
Page Count: 250
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
I retired at the age of 53 as I found I had mild cognitive impairment MCI. This is a condition which gives me a poor memory but a sharp mind. It was difficult to find work that would take me and so I decided to write books. Sixteen years later, I have written twenty three books with another two yet to be published. I have learned the book writing skills though writing clubs and writers magazines. Over the years I find my writing is much better received. I am seen as a novelist but I have three illustrated children’s books, several biographies and three self help books as well. My website sags with the volume. But I cannot be pigeon holed. It depends what theme obsesses my thinking, as that will be my next book.
I have been on the committee of the Society of Authors in Scotland and have been their Events Manager. I am due to speak at next year’s Wigtown Book Festival as A Reluctant Spy will be a documentary by then. That reminds me I have an agent. A Literary as well as a Film agent in Mathilde Vuillermoz. With her on board I will release some of my self published books through her. Without an agent it is becoming more difficult to attract traditional publishers. So I remain optimistic and find like a graph, my trajectory is currently on an upswing.
Today I am featuring a the author, taking a look at the behind the scenes…
I am asked how did A Reluctant Spy go from draft to finished copy?
The question cannot explain how the book came about and so in a preamble I tell you. It was 30 years ago and the game of Trivial Pursuit began this book. My god-mother, Vera, was asked to identify a German city which had retained its medieval character throughout the ages to the present day. The answer is the city of Regensburg but Vera looked towards the ceiling and in her 90th year, declared she did not want to go to Germany again.
On discussing her reply in detail we learned that her cousin had been a double agent during World War 2. Had she been a spy, then I am sure I would have known about her but a double agent implied she spied for the German Reich as well. That determined my family to keep her story as a dark secret until that moment. From my knowledge about this unusual great aunt, on retirement I wrote about her as the protagonist spy in the Gold Coast which I knew very well. I gave a copy of Operation Oboe to my uncle and his response was to say he enjoyed the book but it was not Hilda’s story. He informed me of most of the missing parts to her life as a double agent and so in 2014, I began to write this book picking up valuable information as the book progressed.
And then it reached its first draft status. As all authors know, that’s far from the finished product. I did a spell check and made sure I did not repeat a phrase or a word too often. Quite satisfied with what I had achieved, it was time for fresh eyes to see it. I send the script to Cornerstones for an edit. I accepted most of the edits but there was something that I could not put my finger on. I sent it to the Society of Editors and a final edit was supplied. Well, not the final check after all. I had acquired a good Aberdonian friend who lived in France as an interpreter and translator. I told him about the book and sent it to him. His fresh eyes sharpened the text and he refused all charges for his services. By this time I had acquired film agent in Mathilde Vuillermoz, after I released a press release she came across. I sent the book to Clink Street Publishers who responded with an Amendments sheet to make any final changes. By this time I knew I had written a very important book and wanted it to be perfect. I had never been so protective of a book before. After a week or two I re-read the book and found the howler. I had placed the Atom bomb on Hiroshima out of sequence. That meant a few more amendment pages. I must acknowledge that Clink Street Publishers were very patient and were true to their word in not publishing a book until the author is satisfied it is ready.
By the time you read this article, the book will have been published. Its date of entry to the book world will be on 24th September 2019. However the super news is that the script has already been bought by Arte Films in France and they wish to make it a multi-language documentary after which Mathilde will strive to get a film contract underway. This will be my 23rd book. None has had this attention before. But I know it is a unique story and undoubtedly my best book…so far.