Thursday, March 6, 2014

Why write about WWII? - Part 3

In a previous post I mentioned reading Up Periscope by Robb White, my first war story. Other things that I loved were the TV shows Combat! and 12 O'clock High. Occasionally, on Saturday morning, one of the Kansas City stations showed WWII movies, not all of them with John Wayne, but many were. The land battles, especially those with tanks, were exhilarating, the submarine movies tense, the dogfights incredible. I was always awed by the credits scrolling by at the end thanking the the Department of the Navy, or the US. Army, etc. Wow! They approved this movie! Finally, let's not forget the Rat Patrol!

On top of all that, there were two fabulous comic books about WWII: Sgt. Rock and Sgt. Fury. A few blocks from my house was a used comic book and record shop. Most of my meager weekly allowance was spent there, handed over with glee to the small, dark-haired man behind the counter. If I had to choose between a comic book or a Coke, the comic book won.

We're all products of our past. So is my writing. My fascination with WWII had its genesis as shown above. As I grew older, the fascination didn't abate, I just changed sources. In high school and college I studied some history and military history. In 1977, at age 25, I first read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer. I own the 1960 version, not the abridged version. I have subsequently read it twice more, all 1,242 pages of a view into utter evil. This is a must-read for anyone wanting to learn more about WWII.

It's my goal to provide my readers with several things in each book:


  • a fast-paced book with lots of battle action.
  • characters you can love (and care what happens to them) and others you can hate and want them to get their just rewards.
  • tidbits of facts interwoven within the story.
From the feedback I receive by way of reader emails and reviews, I'm on target.

I'm working on the third Sgt. Dunn novel, which is untitled, but to which I refer as sd3. I didn't set out to recreate Sgt. Rock and Sgt. Fury, and until yesterday, hadn't thought about them much at all, and not during the writing of the books. Sgt. Dunn is clearly defined in my head and on paper, and while I owe part of my WWII fascination to Sgts. Rock and Fury, Sgt. Dunn is his own man. 

Thanks for stopping by today.

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