In March 2016, Reigate resident John Hughes had his first novel published at the age of 59. He wrote Spitfire Spies over twenty years ago but failed to find a publisher; then two years ago the most unlikely event inspired him to try again, and within months his book was in production.
Spitfires Spies is set in 1940 before and during the Battle of Britain and tells the story of two German agents - one a reluctant Englishman, the other a loyal Nazi - sent on an audacious mission to infiltrate the factories where the Spitfire are being made, to assess output and sabotage production. Will they achieve their goal or can MI5, with the aid of double agents and a brilliant female pilot in the Air Transport Auxiliary, turn the tide of espionage to their advantage?
John Hughes will be talking about how Spitfire Spies came to be written, his inspiration, the research involved, the arduous process of publication and anything anyone would like to ask. He will also talk about his second novel, Follow My Leader, which is set in Reigate in 1951 and is due for publication early in 2017.