A best-selling author has delved back into the Nazi occupation of Europe for his latest historical novel for children.

Wimbledon Village resident Philip Kerr can be caught typing furiously on his laptop on flights, much to the annoyance of his wife and fellow author, Jane Thynne.

"It’s tough for her, I write a lot," he said.

"I am bit like a printing machine.

"We have different rooms for writing - she doesn’t see me typing furiously, she would groan."

The couple have three grown up children, a daughter Naomi, to whom The Winter Horses is dedicated, and two sons.

The award-winning author has two books coming out at roughly the same time - The Winter Horses for children aged 10 to 14 years-old and a ‘Dick Francis of football’ called January Window, the first in a new series about a murder in the world of the beautiful game.

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When he is not writing full time, Mr Kerr said he is travelling abroad to promote his work or thinking up ideas for his next novel.

The 58-year-old said: "I’m not short of ideas.

"What I have learnt to do over the years is listen to my own imagination and to trust it.

"I have always had an active imagination, even as a child."

Growing up in Edinburgh, Mr Kerr said having an imagination was considered a bad thing.

Having lived in Lancaster Road for more than 20 years, he did not get to vote in the Scottish referendum. He said: "I would have voted against independence, I think it was crazy.

"A lot of it was founded on illusion - it was the ‘haves versus the have nots.’"

The tough world in The Winter Horses is a far cry from Scottish independence.

It is set in 1941 Ukraine and follows 12-year-old Jewish girl Kalinka who is the sole survivor from her family after the Nazi persecution of her home town.

She rescues two rare Przewalski’s horses and tries to save them from being shot by SS officers.

The mass murder of Jewish people is referred to, but it is the plight of the horses and the old man Max who are the focus of the story.

Mr Kerr said: "I was fascinated when I discovered how the SS took over this place and for whatever reason decided to shoot horses.

"The horses became a symbol of what they were doing."

He said he thought his young readers would be able to identify more with the suffering of animals than families, and that he loved horses as a child.

He said the name Philip is derived of the Greek Phillippos which means lover of horses, and thinks that is where his interest came from.

The story is based on true events and is an era of particular interest to Mr Kerr, who has set many of his previous novels against the backdrop of the Nazi occupation.

The Winter Horses is out in January in paperback.

January Window is out now.