20 April 2007

World War II

I have to admit I have a soft spot for the two world war periods, especially from the English perspective. My parents were children in WWII and have told me of their memories of bombing raids and air raid shelters, wearing gas mask around their necks as they went to school.

I have an extra interest in WWII now because I've been offered a contract from Wild Rose Press for a WWII novel set in England 1944.

The Great War (1914-1918) was such a changing time. It was the first time women really came into their own and showed the male population that they could do more than simply housekeep and mother.

Although the times were hard and full of despair, such dramatic periods of peoples lives often give the best stories. What better way to create a happy ever after? The hero has been through hell in the trenches and the heroine has been left at home wondering, hoping, praying for news of her lover? There is no need to fight each other when there are larger issues to contend with!

WWII (1930- 1945) brought changes to the world again. Women, especially English women had a guaranteed place in this war: they served as nurses, ambulance drivers, in the munitions factories and on the land. They kept the country running, but they also became truly independent of people in their own right. Their dress styles changes as did their attitudes. The Americans came to England and showed English girls another type of man -- brash, cheeky, fun-loving and often much more wealthier. The GIs introduced new faster dances, which actually lifted the woman in the air and whoops, showed off her underwear!

All periods of history can be made interesting for a story, and wars give a double spin on things - the man away fighting, the woman home waiting and working, keeping it all together for her lovers return.

How can anyone say this isn't an interesting time to write about?


Eliza said...

I've said this before, but I'll say it again: These wars, as terrible as they were, contain enough story fodder to fill libraries. The best part about it is that it's so well-documented.

Morag McKendrick Pippin said...

This is my time period, too! So far I've written two WWII books and a jazz era novel. I plan a WWI book and the ghost in my present book was killed in the Great War.

Wishing you lots of sales!

Camilla said...

Oi...I love WWI. It baffles me that romance readers don't want to read books set after 1900 because of the Wars and the Depression, yet gobble up Regencies and Victorians--times when death of disease, childbirth, accidents, etc were ever present(not to mention the many minor skirmishes of the British army during the 19th century), but consider ONE period in time as "depressing" because of the Great War.

For me, it takes the need for "fantasy" way too far if you can't believe in HEA's for certain periods, but can gloss over mortal uncertainties in others.

Delia DeLeest said...

I agree totally with Camilla. I don't know how many people express worry about how my 1920's characters weather the depression. What about plagues, high childbirth death tolls and simple infections that haunt those characters from early historicals - things my characters don't really have to worry about. All I can think of is that so many of us grew up listening to depression and WW stories from grandparents, so that seems so much more real to us than, say, the bubonic plague.

Marianne LaCroix said...

It is a wonderful time period to write in. I love it. I am happy to see more and more publishers releasing WWII set romances.