We’re going back in time to World War Two today and the character we’re going to interview is – a dog! Popular author Lizzie Lane is interviewing Rudy, the canine hero from her historical novel, A Wartime Friend.
In WW2, occupied France, a little girl, Leah, escapes from a train destined for a death camp. She is accompanied by an Alsatian who was about to be shot for being too soft. She names him Rudy. Rescued by an RAF pilot, they are taken to England eventually ending up in a country village where it should be safe but not all is as it seems. The pilot has been shot down and his wife, Meg, is devastated. Gradually she recovers and is sought out by two men in the village. One is the village policeman. The other is unseen, hiding in the shadows awaiting his chance, but to do that he has to get rid of the dog.
Let’s talk to Rudy and find out what he thinks of the situation
OK, Rudy. There are human main characters, but everything revolves around you so you’re the one who has to provide the answers. So here goes. How come you ended up serving with the German army?
The little girl I belonged to died. Her parents were devastated and gave me to the army. I didn’t want to join up. I just wasn’t given an option.
You didn’t seem to fit in there. Why do you think that was?
I dislike cruelty; animal or human, it doesn’t matter.
So you spotted Leah crawling out from beneath that pile of dead bodies. What decided you to go with her? You could have travelled faster by yourself.
She reminded me of the little girl I used to belong to – I had been powerless to save her, but I could do something to save this little girl.
You guarded Leah when she became unconscious. What decided you to let the RAF pilot pick her up and take you both on board the plane?
He had a gentle manner and spoke softly. My natural instinct kicked in. Humans use reason. Animals have strong instincts.
How did you feel when you first arrived in England. You weren’t exactly welcome were you?
No. I was regarded as an alien. It’s funny how people think because you come from the same place as the baddies that you’re a baddy too. Same for humans. When Meg, the pilot’s widow eventually allowed me to live with her and Leah, I became accepted. It was like that for Leah and Meg too. Meg attracted the attention of the village policeman – he was a nice man. Meg was not aware that somebody else was watching her every move, but I knew he was there – those instincts again. Her policeman friend did his best but at the end of the day I was there for all of them. It’s in my nature to be loyal and I was.
intrigued and want to read more? Here’s a short extract:
Lizzie Lane has had over 50 books published a number of which have entered the top 30 bestsellers. She also wrote a newspaper column for many years and won the BBC New Writer’s Initiative – that’s besides being a yacht master.
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