The final episode of the ITV series was watched by 5.5 millions viewers [In Britain]. News of the series' cancellation inspired fans to launch a Bring Back Home Fires campaign, which generated national press coverage and secured nearly 40,000 signatures on an online petition. Only last week Home Fires topped a Radio Times poll asking which canceled TV show viewers most wanted back. In response to overwhelming demand from fans of the series, Bonnier Zaffre is delighted to be taking this compelling story forward in novel form!
1940, Great Paxford, Cheshire. In Britain's darkest hour, an extraordinary community of women strives to protect the Home Front. When a fighter plane crashes in the village, each member of the Great Paxford Women’s Institute will see their lives changed forever.
The first novel in the series, Keep The Home Fires Buring, will publish as a 4-part ebook serial with a part releasing each month from July 2017, and as a complete novel in paperback and ebook this autumn. Part One of currently untitled Book Two publishes in ebook form in Spring 2018. Keep the Home Fires Burning marks the launch, too, of the Bonnier Zaffre Memory Lane online community. Visit www.MemoryLane.Club to sign up for the newsletter, access special content, and to be the first to know all the Keep The Home Fires Burning news!
Eleanor Dryden, Publishing Director of Bonnier Zaffre, says: Each one of the extraordinary, inspiring, flawed, and courageous female characters of Great Paxford's Women’s Institute captured my heart, and these are exactly the stories we need more of! Block's writing is completely addictive and I feel very lucky to be publishing these books in such an exciting way. It’s also a real honour to be working alongside the passionate champions of the Bring Back Home Fires campaign.
S Block says: When ITV chose not to re-commission the series I was all set to take my characters through the next few months of their lives on the homefront. Their stories were all planned, yet I was left with little choice but to accept the channel’s decision. But suddenly I saw the remarkable and totally unexpected reaction of fans of the show on social media. It was as extraordinary as it was moving. They began Tweeting furiously. Within a few days 20,000 people had signed a petition asking for the decision to be reversed. It rose by thousands every day, despite the fact that the news wasn’t widely known. I was completely unprepared for and humbled by the outpouring of love for the show, and for the level of disappointment people felt because they weren’t going to be able to continue to enjoy the journey of these characters through the war. The brilliantly witty and energetic campaign for the show was reported on national television, radio, and in the press, both here and abroad. I was contacted by people from all over the world asking if it was possible to continue the Home Fires story in some way. The W.I. asked all of its members to add their voice, and many well-known figures did the same.
People on social media began to ask me if it might not be possible to continue the stories as books. It was at that point I began to seriously consider the idea. If it couldn’t continue on television, why not in book form? Novels are adapted for the screen all the time, why not the other way round? The stories I'd been ready to write lent themselves perfectly. Fortunately, Bonnier Zaffre felt the same, and a unique partnership has emerged where — for the first time in our knowledge — a saga initiated on television will be continued in a series of novels, picking up precisely where the TV show ended and continuing as planned. The aim is that those familiar with the TV show will be able to seamlessly continue with the books; while those new to the world of Home Fires will swiftly find themselves brought up to speed and immersed in the stories of the women of Great Paxford.
Without the incredible support and desire of the show’s fans to have the story continue this would not have happened. I can’t thank them enough for their passion, humour, and determination to see Home Fires continue. I can’t wait for them to embark on the next part of the story with the characters they have so brilliantly taken to their hearts, and kept alive in their imaginations. It’s extremely exciting to be going forward together in this way.
The pre-order is currently only available in the UK but we'll update all you lovely international fans as and when this changes in the coming months.
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