Last night I had the chance to see Hidden Figures. If you haven’t gone, go. Now. Drop what you are doing and run to the theater. It was so well done. But here’s the warning: It will make you feel. There will be tears, outrage, cheering, etc. Here’s more about it from the Smithsonian.
But here’s what I’m thinking about today. This is what art is supposed to be. It’s supposed to illuminate people … when it’s based on history, it’s supposed to inspire us to run to the bookstore or library to find out what’s next, how much was true, what inspires us.
That’s why I love to write novels set during World War II. To find these stories and shine a light on them. To inspire people to maybe learn more about the true stories. But that requires a few commitments:
- To do the research to capture the times. As writers that includes being a costumer, a student of the times, and a student of people. We have to pull it together and present it in a way that our readers are swept into the story just like you will be if you see Hidden Figures.
- To do this well we have to love the story. We have to become fascinated by the story and want to know more, and more, and more. We have to develop a passion for the time and the people. We have to see the story as a trust and treat it with care.
- To weave the story together in such a way that readers are enveloped into the story and don’t want to escape. That they are so immersed that at the end they are curious to know what was true and what was the story.
I’m excited to let you know that Canteen Dreams is out again. I’ve had so much fun getting this story ready for it’s new audience.
In the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, Nebraska schoolteacher Audrey Stone wants to support the war effort in any way she can. When her community starts a canteen at the train station, Audrey spends nearly every spare moment there, offering food and kindness to the soldiers passing through. She never expected to fall for a local boy…or face the challenges of budding love in the face of war.
Rancher Willard Johnson admires Audrey’s passionate nature, but when his brother is killed in action, he feels he must avenge by enlisting himself. His father insists he stay, but Willard knows he must go. Reality intrudes, and he never expected the jealousy he experiences when he sees those in uniform.
Can Willard’s budding relationship with Audrey weather the storms of war? Or will one of the other soldiers at the canteen steal her heart?