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Behind the Book: The (Mostly) True Story Behind the Writing of OUT OF TIME

The WWII veterans who helped me were amazingly kind and patient...

I wrote this post back when I had just finished Out of Time and am bringing it back to life because it is, IMHO, one of my most romantic books. That’s why I am showcasing in this month of romance. 🙂

Hopefully, you’ll be happy to know that Out of Time is finally DONE! Am I doing a dance of joy? You bet!

About Out of Time:

cover artWinner of EPIC Best Book  2007 

For adventure reporter, Melanie “Mel” Morton, World War II is part of the past until the day that former B-17 bomber pilot, Jack Hamilton walks out of history and into her kitchen.

What he tells her sends her on her craziest adventure yet—straight into the past to try and save her grandfather’s life.

All she has to do is travel through time, stick to the mission, outmaneuver a couple of armies in the middle of a war, oh, and not fall in love with the hotshot bomber pilot.

No problem…well, maybe a little…

The research for this book has been so fascinating. I’ve had the chance to type to some amazing B-17 pilots from The Greatest Generation, hear their stories and pick their brains. I owe them big time for their kindness now and for their bravery then. 🙂

And so, finally, I can interview myself about the writing of this book!

Me: So, what was the most challenging part of writing this novel?

Pauline inside a B-17Myself: There were several challenges I had to overcome in writing this novel. First, was just the change in genre. While this has a lot of the elements of the suspense novel, it is more about overcoming obstacles, than overcoming a specific villain or villains. I’m used to just killing someone (fictionally, of course) when things slow down. Now, people do die in this book. It is about a war. But, they don’t die as a result of a villainous action, so they don’t really kick up the action in the same way.

The other challenge of writing this book was capturing the historic detail. It is really tough to write a historical novel and my respect for the habitual historical author has increased one hundred-fold.

And the last challenge was finding the type of historical details that I needed to make the story come alive. I received a lot of help from former B-17 pilots, etc and they helped me with historical detail of that experience, but once my characters were in enemy territory…oh my!

Me: What did you particularly like about this book?

Myself: I really like Mel, the heroine of this story. She’s gutsy and has a sense of humor and Pauline outside a B-17doesn’t mind admitting she’s not happy with what’s going on. I also really like Jack, the bomber pilot-hero. This is the ultimate, can’t-happen romance, but I hope that I made this more than a romance. This is a mutual journey to understanding that when you mess with life, it can kick your trash. <g>

Me: What else is unusual about this book?

Myself: This is the first time I’ve had an acknowledgments page. And it’s a long list. The WWII veterans who helped me were amazingly kind and patient with my questions and with sharing their stories. There’s a reason they are called the Greatest Generation.

Me: You left the ending open for a sequel, didn’t you?

Look at the B-17's nose artMyself: (sigh) Yes, I did. I apparently really like to suffer for my art. It’s not enough to write one, really hard book. No, I need to leave the door open for another! But it is hard to let go of these characters. They still want to be part of my life.

Me: Speaking of these characters, they kind of helped you write the book, didn’t they?

Myself: Probably more than any book I’ve written. I literally was pulling this one out of my butt (a method recommended by my daughter, Elizabeth, for when you’re in a hole) as I wrote. Several times the characters provided the solutions to problems–and managed to surprise me.

Me: There is also something very special to you about this book, isn’t there?

Myself: Yes. Beyond telling a good story (I hope!) I wanted this book to be something that my grandmothers would like if they were still alive to read it. Mel’s home, in the book, is actually modeled after one of my Grandmother’s houses.  That sentence sounds clunky, but I can’t figure out how to fix it.

I also didn’t want it to be a German bashing book. The Germans are our allies and I have a friend in Germany, who I wanted to be able to read this book. Because my character is from this time, she has a unique perspective when she makes the leap into the past and the story reflects that perspective.

Me: Do you have anything else to add?

Myself: Just that I hope readers will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Me: That wraps up our Behind the Book interview! If you have a question for me or myself, (or even I), email me! And, if you haven’t read Out of Time be sure to grab yourself a copy!cover art

(Author’s note: While I feel like Out of Time is what lead to The Key, readers have asked me for a sequel. While I’m nervous about it, because Life caused me to not fully meet my production schedule last year, I have added a sequel to this year’s schedule. Fingers crossed and good vibes hoped for to make my schedule this year.)

Perilously yours,