Mary Rosambeau

Mary Rosambeau, a retired primary teacher, lives in the south of England but she was born in 1940 in the North East of Scotland in a small fishing village at the outbreak of World War Two. Looking back she feels she missed out being only five when it ended. Her ten year old brother and his friends, however, had the most wonderful adventures because, despite the apparent insignificance of their town, it was playing an important secret part in the support of the Norwegian Resistance against the German occupation. Researching the history of the area she also discovered that several German spies dropped off along the coast were subsequently arrested. What better background she thought, for an adventure story.
Volunteering to hear reading at her local primary school Mary Rosambeau keeps in touch with her audience age group. Writing Secrets and Spies was inspired by the complaint of one of the pupils that he couldn't find an easy to read book on WW2 that wasn't about the London Blitz.
Experience as a social worker and as a SSAFA family officer abroad with the army has widened her understanding of the effect of family tensions on children, so the books she writes are not just wild adventures.

One day, a boy in my group asked for a book, about World WarTwo, that wasn’t about the London Blitz. Most of the ones we found were too difficult. As I was born, during the war, far from London, in a Scottish village where lots of military secret things were happening. I thought I could write an adventure based on these historical facts.

I also used my brother and his friends, all ten at the time, as templates for my chosen heroes, Rory and Paul. As I began to write, my school group helped me by reading some of the chapters. They’d point out where I’d missed a comma. When they didn’t understand a word they suggested I have a glossary.

Then when the book was nearly finished somebody said,
“Will it be illustrated?”
“What a wonderful idea!” I replied.