Monthly Archives: March 2014

A New Home And A New Start

Hello, and welcome to the new look Cypress Branches blog.

After the difficulties of the last 18 months, which has not only seen the family lose both William and his wife Sheila within a year of each other, but also saw me move house and change jobs, I thought it was about time to get the Cypress Branches project back on track.

Although I have been very quiet on the social media front for some time now, Gramps’ novels have rarely been far from my thoughts, and I have been busy tidying up the online presence of the books as well as putting together an action plan for the year ahead.

This new blog, using WordPress instead of Blogger, is part of that new push. I’m still putting the finishing touches to the layout, which should be finished shortly. If you have bookmarks and links from the old blog, you’ll notice you’re automatically redirected to this one. (If you’re experiencing difficulties with the redirect, please let me know.) If you head over to acuteanglebooks.co.uk, you’ll see that it has also had a major overhaul, with a new look and much more user-friendly layout. It’s also now fully compatible with mobile devices, which has long been a bugbear!

I have also been busy working on the books themselves, and will be revealing some exciting changes in an upcoming blog post very soon. Although work has still to be started in earnest on Part Three of the trilogy, all being well that work should start in the next month or so with the aim of publishing in Spring 2015.

As well as publishing Part Three, I’m also hoping to push ahead with another aspect of the project, and that’s researching Gramps’s background in more detail. September marks the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Arnhem, which Gramps fought in and forms the backdrop to the opening sequences in Pegasus Falling.

Aside from knowing Private William Edward Thomas was there, I know very little about his involvement, and I’m hoping to do some digging and see what I can find out. Again, stay tuned, because the fruits of my research will be posted here.

As ever, I love to hear from readers and fellow bloggers, so please get in touch and let me know what you think of the new blog and website, and if there’s anything you’d like to see added.

Happy reading!

Mike

William Edward Thomas 1925-2014

On 19th February 2014, my grandfather, William E. Thomas, author of the Cypress Branches trilogy, finally lost the greatest battle of his life and passed away. He went peacefully, surrounded by his family. He was 88 years old.

William had been battling the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease for well over a decade. A strong and dignified man, he kept his illness in place for as long as he could and managed to outlive all predictions. Although the family is devastated by his loss, we are also relieved that he is no longer suffering or in pain.

A private funeral for family and friends was held in William’s home town of Milton Keynes on 7th March. His ashes will be interred with his wife in their final resting place – a beautiful green burial ground overlooking the rolling Buckinghamshire countryside – later this month.

William led a full and active life. Soldier, sailor, airman, engineer, technician, scholar, comedian, union man, family man, writer…these are just a few of the roles he played. He has left behind an incredible legacy, which includes his literary work, which is now being enjoyed by an ever growing audience, his engineering successes, and his large and loving family who are all missing him dearly.

The family would like to thank all of William’s readers around the world for the interest and support they have shown in both the man himself and his writing over the last few years. It is gratifying to know that despite William no longer being with us, his voice will continue to be heard through his books for many years to come.

We would like to invite anyone who wishes to, to make a donation in William’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Society, the UK’s leading support and research charity for people with dementia, their families and carers. Their work touches the lives of over 30,000 people every week, providing practical services and support for those affected. You can make a donation by visiting their website here.

William with his wife Sheila, who passed away in March last year,
 at the launch of Pegasus Falling in 2012.