Welcome to the blog about my novel Wingwatch. My name is Marco Strazzi. I am an Italian citizen, born in Bologna in 1958. Wingwatch represents my debut in the world of fiction after twenty years of sports journalism and a further eight producing books, articles and translations relating to the watchmaking industry. As a reporter, I covered top-level, international tennis and football events. As an historian of watchmaking, I have published the volumes Lancette & C., an encylopedia of wristwatches, Rolex dalla A alla Z, a treatise on the most famous watch brand in the world, both in Italian, and The Museum Collection, about the 100 milestones of 20th Century watchmaking, in English and Italian. I live with my family in Lugano (Switzerland).
Why did a sports reporter and historian of watchmaking write a novel based partly on a true D-Day story? The main reason is the gratitude I feel for the veterans and their fallen comrades whenever I visit Normandy. This is something I learnt as a young boy from my mother, who lived through the painful occupation of Northern Italy from 1943 to 1945 and the subsequent joy of liberation by the Allied forces. Wingwatch is my attempt to pay a small part of the debt I feel I owe them. A tribute to the past, but not only that, in that the contemporary part set in 2014 is as relevant as the 1944 part. 
Thanks to my professional experience, I had the advantage of playing on home turf as far as English football and watches - two important aspects of the plot - were concerned. As for WW2, I did my best to provide my fiction with a solid historical background, in particular by visiting the Merville battery and the Pegasus Memorial in Normandy, the Airborne Assault Museum in Duxford, by research through websites and books on D-Day and the subsequent battles, by listening to veterans' interviews and by watching documentaries such as the recent Ils Etaient Les Premiers.

I would like to end with a word regarding the image above. The site, well known to any football fan, is Anfield Road, home ground of Liverpool FC. The year is 1987, more or less the period when Cédric - the modern day protagonist of the novel - witnesses a match from the terraces of the Kop in Chapter Three. And the man in a jacket and tie is me, back when I was a reporter for Guerin Sportivo. I chose this photo because, above the gates, you can see the title of the song that makes up the soundtrack to this story, and because I am wearing a poppy in the buttonhole of my jacket – symbol of remembrance for the fallen, given to me by the (English) photographer I was travelling with. Was Wingwatch born back then? I don't know, but when I came by this picture some months ago, long after having forgotten about it, I felt I now had a good idea of fate. Just like Cédric.


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