Terri, you have two other books, No Neutral Ground and Soar Like Eagles, set to release later in 2016. Congratulations on what will be a busy year for you! What can you tell us about these stories?
No Neutral Ground features a German who didn’t know he had Jewish ancestry until he was kicked out of the Hitler Youth. His father deserts the family, which flees to America. Rafe becomes a B-17 navigator and returns to Europe, at war with Germany and his father. On the Queen Mary, he meets Jennie, who is going to Sweden with secrets of her own.
Soar Like Eagles features Carol, a Red Cross doughnut girl who serves in England and France, and has incredible adventures, some good, some not so good. She meets Chet, another B-17 navigator who’s trying to prove he has value after constant belittlement from his drill sergeant father.
Some writers love plotting, some like writing that first draft, and others enjoying researching or digging into the revisions. What's your favorite part about writing a book?
I love research. (I’m a former librarian after all. ☺) I have a hard time not including everything that’s all so interesting. I wrote Friends and Enemies with a general idea where it was going, but these days I try to plot better. That’s hard for me.
Aluminum Overcast belongs to the Experiment Aircraft Association here in Wisconsin. It’s a B-17 that was finished too late for service in the war. Now it tours around the country to air shows, and makes regular appearances at a nearby show. I first did a walk-through tour, but the following year I scraped up the $400 fee to fly. It is noisy in there! Movies like Memphis Belle are totally inaccurate. I couldn’t hear someone right in front of me. Without headphones, you have to get right up to the person’s ear and yell to be heard. I went home and changed my manuscripts.
What a great experience! If you could be a character from one of your favorite historical novels, who would you be and why?
Carol from Soar Like Eagles, to actually go to Europe and experience war and do something for the boys’ morale. Americans had a soft time compared to civilians living in the war zones, who had a harsh life with shortages, destroyed homes, not knowing who they could trust. I would love to have witnessed a squadron of B-17s taking off. Of course, I would not want to be under the bombs (as Heidi was) or wounded like Carol.
I love the tagline on your website of “History that entertains and enlightens.” It’s easy for people to see how reading a novel can be entertaining. What kinds of things do you hope to enlighten your readers about?
The conditions of total war, the sacrifices people had to make, a glimpse of what life was like for people in Germany, England, Sweden, and France. Even simple things like a rotary telephone. I’ve seen the cartoons where kids today don’t know what that was. Incidentally, I got the idea of “entertains and enlightens” from Richard Mabry when I prepared to host his workshop at the ACFW conference last September.
Anything else about yourself, writing, or your books that you’d like to share?
I traveled a lot in Europe before I started writing about some of those places. Now I wish I’d taken a lot more photos, visited a lot more places. What would I do without the internet!
True, what would any of us do? We’re a spoiled lot! We’re also really glad to have you join us this week. Visitors, don’t forget to enter our drawing for your chance to win a copy of Terri’s new novel, Friends and Enemies. Either enter through Rafflecopter below or answer this question from Terri in the comments section:
If you had lived in Nazi Germany, would you have dared to speak out against the regime?
You can also find Terri in lots of places online if you’d like to keep up with her work:
- Website and blog: www.terriwangard.com
- Twitter: @
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTerriWangard
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14695127.Terri_Wangard