In 2014, Audrey Phillips found her late husband’s story hidden away, but was soon encouraged to share his war time memoirs when the family discovered there was more to the story than they first thought. Phillip’s discusses the self-publishing journey, the story and the inspiration behind the book, ‘Operation XX and Me’.
I contacted The Self-Publishing Partnership in December 2018 after reading their part in publishing ‘A Lady Who Cycled the World’, in the Wiltshire Times.
Douglas Walker was very helpful when I took the manuscript to Green Park Station, where the publishing of the story truly started.
Then it got exciting.
Charlotte de Grey an associate discussed choice of front cover, back cover, the font, the photos, proof reading and finally printing.
The delivery of the books was 18 April.
I discovered my husband’s story a year before. I knew he had written it, but I had never read it until three years after his death.
The family had not known about O.P. Twenty or XX , and when research showed the link to MI5, they were fascinated.
It also showed what growing up in the C20 in Box was like.
Charlotte de Grey said it was a story worthy of telling.
At first it was thought the title referred to the group of boys trained for the first operation in World War II, but internet searches brought to light the double meaning of XX: 20 (in Roman numerals) and double-cross.
Operation XX was set up in 1941 to use captured German spies to feed back misinformation to Germany. It eventually came under MI5.
Glyndwr Phillips, whom the story is focused around, always questioned what choice, if any, he had in the events and the way life took him.
I have a book for my family which I always wanted, and they have now requested my story about growing up in the war.
‘Operation XX and Me – Did I Have A Choice?’ is available on Amazon now.