Goodreads asked Joss Sheldon:

Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?

Joss Sheldon A Premier League footballer, James McClean, refused to wear a red poppy on his Sunderland jersey in November 2012. His decision led to a flurry of criticism across the mainstream press.

The red poppy is a tribute to soldiers who have fought in wars for Britain, and the money raised from their sale goes to war veterans. Some people think it is a great thing, others do not. Because not everyone in Britain likes British soldiers, or the wars they fight in. That two million people marched against the war in Iraq shows this.

Yet critics of James McClean seemed to imply that such opinions were not valid. They stated that every single person in Britain should honour soldiers, and be grateful for their contribution to society.

I found this discussion biased, and so I went in search of balance. Eventually I found the Peace Pledge Union's website.

The PPU are behind the white poppy, which is an alternative to the red poppy. Whilst the red poppy celebrates soldiers, the white poppy celebrates anti-war activists and conscientious objectors. Whilst the red poppy pays tribute to fallen soldiers, the white poppy remembers the innocent victims of war.

On the PPU's website there is a section about the WW1 conscientious objectors. Reading through it, I was inspired by their brave stand for peace, and so I decided to bring their story to life in the form of a novel.

I'd recommend that you check out the PPU's website once you've read 'Involution & Evolution', but not before. It does contain spoilers!

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