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As a writer, I understand that a big idea needs the biggest possible theme. I came up with the idea for TOMMIES in 2009 and knew I wanted to ask a question with the series that would sustain it for nine more years - possibly a fifth of my creative life. So the question I wanted to ask was one that has troubled me for years: is Man a Moth to the Flame of War?
In other words, we know War is Hell. That's a given. A far more awkward idea is that war returns to us over and over because in amongst its chaos and death and trauma, it also gives human beings a massive something in return.
Could I create a lead character who might illuminate the way that people get a huge amount out of war - comradeship, a sense of shared purpose, a wonderful sense of direction and meaning? And then see how such a character might become the conscience of his nation; a truly epic hero.