Welcome back, Terri. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
My family genealogy influenced the first book in my WWII series. I have another World War II book not under contract. I’ve started a WWI era series, the third book influenced by family history. Eventually, I’d like to write about some of my immigrating ancestors.
My second and third book had events from my immigrating ancestors. Tell us a little about your family.
I never married, no children. My dad started Classic Boating magazine in 1984. I was a librarian at the time, but as the business grew, I left the library in 1986 to work full-time with my folks and brother on the magazine. That’s still my day job, working with Dad and Jim.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Definitely. I critique whatever I read. This one tells, not shows, or that one lacks a deep point of view. I don’t read as many novels as I once did. Because I write historical, I read a lot of nonfiction based on the eras I’m researching.
I know what you mean. When a story can turn off that internal editor, I know it’s a very good book. What are you working on right now?
From World War II, I’ve backed up to the time of World One I. Presently I’m working on one set in 1915, to be followed by 1917-18, and a third in the postwar years.
What outside interests do you have?
I’m on the email list for Historic Milwaukee and often join my brother in touring old homes or buildings. I used to travel overseas frequently, and I miss that, but in today’s security conscious world, it’s stressful. I flew home from
2006, two days after an incident (I think the shoe bomber). The airports were
How do you choose your settings for each book?
For my WWII series, I selected the air base at Ridgewell because it was easy to pronounce. For my new book, Soar Like Eagles, I used the Queen Mary because its well-known and easy to research. For my current series in progress, I chose
because it’s close by and deep in my family history.
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
One of my foremothers. Eight of my ancestors immigrated to
New France as “daughters of the king” in the seventeenth
century, sent to the new world to marry the soldiers and other men who were
here. What was that like to leave everything known and go to a frontier land
and marry a stranger? Many of their fathers were either dead or too poor to
provide a dowry.
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
How slim the chances of being published are. Or all the rules―deep point of view, floating body parts, active instead of passive voice, don’t use “looked,” its weak.
I like to think of some of those things as suggestions, instead of rules. There are occasions when each of those things is acceptable to make your story better. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Patience, or maybe forbearance. I started writing in 2008 and signed my first contract in 2015. Finally, I’d made it. My first two books were published in January and May of 2016. Then the publisher went out of business and my books were immediately unavailable. That was devastating. I am very fortunate. Celebrate Lit picked up my series.
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Be prepared to wait a long time before landing a contract.
Have a hefty expense account. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on conferences and research.
Join a critique group and enter contests. They keep you from being isolated and serve as measuring sticks of your growth as a writer.
Tell us about the featured book.
Carol becomes a Red Cross doughnut girl, serving GIs and boosting their morale. Believing wartime romances are doomed to disappointment, she attempts to avoid entanglements and transfers to
France, away from Chet, the airman
she’s falling for.
Chet’s father always belittled him. Now a well-regarded navigator, he longs to prove him wrong. After he’s ditched in the North Sea, parachuted into
and been called before a review, his focus changes to staying alive, and
winning the Red Cross girl he keeps crossing paths with.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Wednesday, December 29, 1943
Carol Doucet unscrewed the bolt and wrestled the meat grinder off the table’s edge. As she scraped the last of the ham sandwich spread out of the grinder, her friend Fran laid out slices of bread.
Fran blew a wisp of hair out of her eyes. “I still can’t believe you gave up your job.”
Carol pursed her lips. Why couldn’t Fran understand her desire? They’d been over this countless times since she’d received notice from the Red Cross to report to
“Giving up my job as a society reporter can hardly be considered a sacrifice.” She twirled her spoon in the air. “‘Olive Sullivan wore a crimson gown trimmed with antique lace to last night’s Rotary Christmas party.’” The spoon hit the table with a clank. “That is so frivolous. Who cares, with a war going on? I’m determined to do my part in the war effort, no matter how insignificant it seems.”
“What do you call this?” Fran waved her hand around the train station’s back room before grabbing the bowl of ham salad. She slopped the spread onto the slices of bread. “We’re volunteering our time, our food, and our thanks to the servicemen coming through
Ohio. Carol, you don’t have to go overseas
to serve coffee and doughnuts.”
Carol added top slices of bread, cut the sandwiches in half diagonally, and stacked them on a platter. “No, but I want to go. The war is having a profound effect on our generation and I want to be part of it, to see it. I want to help. I’m sure I’ll still have opportunities to write while overseas, maybe not as a reporter, but about my own experiences.”
“Wars are deadly, Carol. You could be killed.”
“The Red Cross won’t send us to the front. I’ll be safe.”
“Are you sure you’re not just running away from Sally and Mike?”
Fran’s quiet question stopped Carol’s hand from draping a tea towel over the sandwiches. “I can’t believe you would think that.”
Someone started a phonograph record, and the melancholy strains of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” flooded the train station. Carol winced. A song about a soldier dreaming of being home with his loved ones for the holiday was not going to cheer the soldiers and sailors crisscrossing the country in training and preparation for shipping out to the war zones.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
www.terriwangard.comSoar Like Eagles: http://amzn.to/2dMEDNJ
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