Happy Tuesday, Reader Friends!
Gail Kittleson has stopped by to talk about her latest novel, All For the Cause. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and chat with her!
All For The Cause
When I discuss my new release, All For The Cause, I often say, “This was maybe the hardest book of all to write.” While I love the way my heroine Twila’s story came together with the hero’s, making this happen certainly challenged me!
But things aren’t always easy, right? In fact NO novel I’ve written has been easy. It’s a long trek from the germ of an idea to seeing all of the plot threads coalesce.
For one thing, this book required some hands-on research about two hours away from where I live. I had never even heard of this WWII POW camp in Algona, Iowa, one of two main camps built by Italian POWS to house Nazi captives from the battles in North Africa.
Yes, right in the middle of Iowa’s nondescript cornfields. Clearly, the military must have sought someplace WAY out of the way!
Figuring out how Twila ended up at the camp was interesting…girls grew up fast in those days. With her father and mother employed in war work, she was no exception, and she longed to make a contribution to this all-encompassing world war. So it made sense to have her discover her niche at Camp Algona.
Now to get Stan there… Well, he took a much more complicated route. First, he volunteered for the Wisconsin National Guard and was deployed to the Philippines. After the Pearl Harbor Attack, he escaped capture and suffered a severe leg injury.
From there, he recuperated aboard a hospital ship and in California. At home in northern Wisconsin, he never felt at home—not with his buddies still in the South Pacific. His heartfelt desire to be part of the Philippine liberation became obsessive—his buddies’ voices called him in the night.
He suffered sleeplessness and nightmares about enemy soldiers killing him. Today he would have been labeled PTS sufferer. He had to get back.
Along the way, he met Twila, and her freckle-nosed cheer heartened him. Meanwhile, she had identified her own passion—to become an R.N. Was their meeting star-crossed, or could their friendship survive the long war and grow into more?
Well, that’s one of this story’s questions – I hope you enjoy discovering the answer. Meanwhile, I’d love to know how you discovered your passion.
About the Author
Gail writes from northern Iowa, where she and her husband of forty years enjoy grandchildren, gardening, traveling, and historical research. After instructing college writing, Gail wrote a memoir, and then got bitten by the WWII bug. Eight novels, later, she’s still hopelessly addicted to this incredible era. Her historical fiction honors Greatest Generation women who made a huge difference despite great odds. Her second love, teaching, leads to facilitating writing workshops and retreats, where she cheers other writers on in their work.
About the Book
Distant thunder rolled as Mr. Olsen poured coffee for his customers, and comments crackled like popcorn.
“Unconditional, he said. Who woulda thought…”
“Sure ain’t lookin’ good.”
“Sure hate to think of ’em bein’ prisoners.”
“Ain’t Howard Hannam’s son over there?”
“Yeah, and my brother’s boy. Sure hope MacArthur keeps his promise to rescue them fellas.”
The news was grim in May 1942. The Philippines had fallen to the Imperial Japanese Army. Rommel is on the move in Northern Africa. The Russian Army is pushed back toward Stalingrad. In the sweltering jungles of Corregidor, PFC Stan Ford battles illness and injury as he and his comrades escape and evade a tenacious enemy. And in the Heartland, women mourn the loss of husbands, sons, and sweethearts.
While everyone else seems to be doing something to support the troops, Twila Brunner feels lost, and useless. But when she sees a newspaper article about a Prisoner of War camp being built in neighboring Algona, Iowa, she believes she has finally discovered a way to to give something for the Cause.