Dear Readers, I just love finding authors I haven’t read before. And many of you have thanked me for introducing you to authors you haven’t read. Today we have a debut author. Let’s give her a warm welcome.
Welcome, Terri. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Not much. I write the characters the way I wish I was. In Friends and Enemies, Heidi engages in passive resistance in Nazi Germany and helps a downed Allied airman to safety. Would I have had the nerve? Hmm. In Book 2 No Neutral Ground (May 2016), Jennie works with the
OSS in Sweden. She’s also an artist. I do
fairly well at drawing stick figures. In Book 3 Soar Like Eagles (Sept 2016), Carol serves with the Red Cross in
the war zone in pretty rough circumstances. I’ve never been a camper.
Be sure to schedule the next two books on my blog. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
In ninth grade, I poured a salt shaker over the head of one of my classmates. That was after he’d crawled under the table and poured sugar in my pants cuff. (I attended a church school with six 9th graders and nine 8th grades in our room.)
For something out of character, for twenty years I globe-trotted on my own, mostly cruises and a few tours.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
In grade school, I wrote stories in notebooks. The first Girl Scout badge I received was the Writer. I started writing in the early 2000s and had a manuscript with a publisher for a year that was finally rejected. That cooled my enthusiasm for a while. In 2008, I got serious about writing.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I enjoy memoirs and biographies. I love reading them as research for my World War II novels. Besides WWII, I’ve read a lot of astronaut and space exploration books. In fiction, I like historical and women’s fiction, suspense by Lisa Carter.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
In good weather, I bicycle a lot. I always have a book started. I’ve recently decided to start knitting again. I used to do a lot of cross stitch, but the walls are filled now with my “masterpieces.” Most evenings, I walk the treadmill while channel flipping.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
For Friends and Enemies I needed a lot of German names and picked a lot of them from my family tree, including surnames for the good Germans. Carol in Soar Like Eagles is named for my mom. I’ve read tombstones to find era-appropriate names. I’ve changed names a few times. Chet was a secondary character in Friends and Enemies until I decided to use Chet for the main character in Soar Like Eagles. I used Word search to change the name in Friends and Enemies but that didn’t always work out well. Did you know Chet is in the middle of crocheting?
You’re right. I would have never noticed that on my own. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Having the gumption to travel on my own. I’ve seen so much that I would have missed if I’d stayed home because I didn’t have a travel companion. I made good friends while away. In fact, one of them translated the French dialogue for Soar Like Eagles for me.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A dog, I suppose. Growing up, I’d look at all the dogs in the World Book encyclopedia, deciding which kind I’d get, if I could. But I couldn’t because of my dad’s allergies and asthma. My favorites are dachshunds and yorkies. Dachshunds appear in Friends and Enemies and No Neutral Ground.
What is your favorite food?
I have a few food allergies, so I understand. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Time to write. I am prone to migraines, and computer time is a trigger. Working all day at my day job is enough, so I only write on weekends. All three books in my series were completed when I signed the contract. Writing under a deadline could be problematic.
Tell us about the featured book.
Family history on the German side inspired it. I have letters written in 1947-48 by distant cousins to whom my grandparents sent care packages. I don’t know what their beliefs were about Hitler and the Nazis, so I created a story for them.
Here’s the blurb: World War II rages across
Europe, claiming the life of Heidi Wetzel’s husband. In a
bid to escape her grief and the frequent bombings of German cities, Heidi and
her sister flee Hagen
to a farm in the German countryside, where they help care for orphaned
children. While there, Heidi comes across an American airman, Paul, with whom
she spent time when her family lived in Milwaukee
during her high school years. When Paul’s plane is shot down over Germany, his
only thought is survival—until he hears God’s voice guiding him to his late
Please give us the first page of the book.
Monday, May 31, 1943
She was too late.
Heidi Wetzel paused at the corner to catch her breath. A line stretched out of the greengrocer’s market and snaked halfway down the block, ending four feet in front of her. She’d hurried for nothing. Deflating with a sigh, she took her place at the end.
The clerk at the creamery had mentioned a delivery of fresh strawberries, her first chance of the year for the tasty treat. Her mouth had watered at the thought of biting into a plump red berry, its juice dribbling down her hand. She shook her head to dislodge the craving. With a line like this, by the time she got inside they’d likely be gone.
A small bottle of milk and a wedge of cheese resided in her shopping net. She needed to get them home, but she’d wait. Wait and hope. At least she could get the one egg allowed her during this ration period.
As her mother often admonished, she must be grateful for what she had. The war threatened to drag on a lot longer; these shortages would get worse.
The woman ahead of her raised a baby to her shoulder. Big blue eyes blinked at Heidi, prompting her smile. A tiny hand clutched his mother’s sleeve. Heidi stroked a gentle finger on the soft skin. The baby giggled.
Tears sprang to her eyes. The happy sound slashed at her soul like knives. If only he was her child. Motherhood threatened to remain an elusive dream as long as the war raged.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is www.terriwangard.comI am at www.facebook.com/authorterriwangard/
Thank you, Terri, for sharing this book with us. I know it's one my blog readers will want have.
Friends and Enemies: A World War II Romance (Promise for Tomorrow) (Volume 1) - paperback
Friends and Enemies: A World War II Romance (Promise for Tomorrow Book 1) - Kindle
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