Talkshow Thursday: Meet Archie Heron
Today I'm sitting down with Lord Archibald "Archie" Heron, the male protagonist in my novella A Doctor in the House, part of "The Hope of Christmas" collection that was released on November 24th. I thought you'd enjoy learning a bit more about him.
LM: Thanks for joining me today, Archie. Can you tell us a little bit about Heron Hall and how your family came to own it?
Archie: Like many English families, my family was awarded Heron Hall to recognize service to the Crown, in this case Elizabeth I. My great, great, great...well, you get the picture...grandfather was a high ranking official and an assistant to William Cecil who helped end the war with France after she became Queen. He was given a title and the estate. Records are sketchy, but I believe the property was taken from someone to give to my ancestor. The place was in disrepair, and it took nearly twenty years to renovate.
LM: You served in the war before coming home to take over the reigns at Heron Hall. Are you allowed to tell us about your experiences.
Archie: Now that the battles are over, I can share that I was in North Africa fighting Rommel, the Desert Fox. It was brutally hot, and Rommel didn't get his nickname for nothing. Skirmishes went on for weeks. We'd gain ground, and then the Germans would push us back. I was wounded at Tobruk. It took me months to recover and just before they were going to send me back, I got word my brothers had been confirmed dead (swallows heavily), and as the last remaining heir I was discharged.
LM: I'm sorry about the loss of your family. In addition to that loss, Heron Hall was requisitioned by the government for war use. Can you tell us about that?
Archie: I had three days to vacate the house, not much time at all, but that's the way it often was. Anyway, the estate was assigned to the Americans as a convalescent hospital. And to top it off, the administrator was a woman, Dr. Emma O'Sullivan. Rather unorthodox in her treatment methods and not one to take direction from others. Feisty, that's what she is. But Heron Hall served during The Great War, it only makes sense for us to do our bit again during this war. And the lads are so brave. It is my pleasure to do what I can to boost their morale.
LM: The war has been going on for nearly three years. What has that been like?
Archie: We're fortunate at Heron Hall because of the amount of land we have. We are able to grow crops that supply us and the surrounding area. But there are many things we can't grow or get hold of such as coffee, sugar, and clothing. Not that we need lots of new clothes, but the material wears out, and we're unable to replace the items. Shoes too. Leather is impossible to come by and even if you have enough points and money, there are very few shoes to be found. And there's always the fear of being bombed. The Germans have been tenacious about attacking. But we British are resilient and we will get through it.
LM: It's hard to imagine the war being over, but have you thought about what you would do when the hostilities cease?
Archie: (shrugs) I'm Lord of the manor now. With that title comes great responsibility. I will continue to minister to the people in the village, ensuring they have enough to eat and jobs that will provide for them. We've already lost a few lads, and will probably lose a few more. I'll need to help them get past the grief. It's going to be a long road, don't you know?
LM: Thanks for taking time to visit. I'll let you get back to the boys.
Book Blurb: Emma O’Sullivan is one of the first female doctors to enlist after President Franklin Roosevelt signs the order allowing women in the Army and Navy medical corps. Within weeks, Emma is assigned to England to set up a convalescent hospital, and she leaves behind everything that is familiar. When the handsome widower of the requisitioned property claims she’s incompetent and tries to get her transferred, she must prove to her superiors she’s more than capable. But she’s soon drawn to the good-looking, grieving owner. Will she have to choose between her job and her heart?
Archibald “Archie” Heron is the last survivor of the Heron dynasty, his two older brothers having been lost at Dunkirk and Trondheim and his parents in the Blitz. After his wife is killed in a bombing raid while visiting Brighton, he begins to feel like a modern-day Job. To add insult to injury, the British government requisitions his country estate, Heron Hall, for the U.S. Army to use as a hospital. The last straw is when the hospital administrator turns out to be a fiery, ginger-haired American woman. She’s got to go. Or does she?
Do you love Christmas stories? Love to read but you're a little short of time this season? The Hope of Christmas is the perfect solution: three heartwarming stories that don't take long to read at all. Pick up your copy today on Amazon.