04:00PM, Sunday 15 November 2020
A Maidenhead man has been shortlisted for a military fiction prize for his book about The Unknown Warrior.
The Name Beneath the Stone by Robert Newcome is about the unidentified British soldier killed on a European battlefield during the First World War.
Robert Newcome, of Ray Park Avenue, began writing his book two years ago, but it took him some time to get it published.
He said: “Like always with writing, I was sending it off to agent after agent, and kept getting rejections. I was quite fortunate – I met Unicorn Publishing at another author’s book launch, and they said ‘we’re definitely interested.’”
Since then, Robert has been invited to speak on podcasts about his work and was shortlisted among four other writers for the Society for Army Historical Research (SAHR) Military Fiction Prize.
The Name Beneath the Stone mixes fact with fiction, detailing events taking place from the First World War up until the modern day.
It explores this possibility that the ‘unknown’ warrior might have been known by somebody after all.
The book was influenced by a long period of research that took Robert to the Imperial War Museum and the battlefields of Flanders.
“My favourite feedback is when people tell me it’s a page-turner,” said Robert.
“It’s very gratifying when people you’ve never met before write to you, saying they like what you’ve written.
“It’s an amusing thought that while I’m in bed reading a book, someone will be reading mine.”
The book is currently picking up momentum, as it ties in with the centenary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior, which took place on November 11, 1920 – exactly a hundred years ago from yesterday (Wednesday).
‘The Name Beneath the Stone’ is estimated to have sold copies ‘in the thousands, rather than the hundreds’ at this point.
Robert is now working on another book, also in the genre of military fiction.
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