I recently had a chance to chat with my friend Jana and one of the things I was curious about was if she had the chance to go back in time and meet one person. Who would she want to meet and what would you ask about your latest work in progress?
Here's what she had to say to me:
That’s a good question, Regan! Mostly I write contemporary, but lately I’ve delved into history and discovered a passion for the World War Two era. I find this time period ripe with stories, both on the battlefront and on the home front.
One of my works in progress is called “Twice in a Lifetime”. In this story, Frank Brennan is given a second chance at love. An angel shows up in his nursing home room claiming to be able to take him back in time, to 1944 in Plymouth, England. It was here Frank experienced, and lost, the love of his life. Even after all these years he is still bitter over Claire’s betrayal. And he still mourns the death of his best friend Cal, who died in a training accident just before D-Day. He accepts the angel’s offer, hoping he can save Cal this time around. Can Frank change history or is his attitude the only thing he can truly change? As he relives the events of 1944, Frank discovers new insights into old tragedies. He also discovers a love for Claire even stronger than he remembers. But unless he learns to trust that love, Frank is doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.
If I could go back in time to Plymouth, England in 1944, there wouldn’t be just one person I’d want to meet, there would be many. I’d want to soak up the atmosphere of the time. I’d want to experience the fear and worry, as well as the excitement. It’s obvious why there would be fear and worry; there was a war on after all, and Plymouth experienced its own blitz in the early days of the war. Everyone was worried about family or friends fighting in the conflict. But there was excitement because everyone was pulling together for a common goal; to win the war.
There was also excitement created by the arrival of thousands of Allied soldiers onto English soil. Many English girls were swept off their feet by dashing American soldiers. I would love to go to a dance with a group of young English girls like Claire, and dance the night away with a handsome soldier like Frank. What would that dance hall look like? What kind of music was played? I’d want to know what Claire’s life was like during the war. Was she scared? How did she manage with all the shortages? What did she think of having her city taken over by American troops? I’d want to know details about how life carried on during a time of war.
And then I’d want to ask Frank about his training with the First Battalion of the 116th Infantry of the 29th Division. Why did he sign up? What did their camp outside of Plymouth look like? Was he afraid of the upcoming invasion or did he believe it was part of his duty? Did he think he was going to die?
I’d want to immerse myself in Frank and Claire’s world so I could understand the things they faced. By understanding that, I’d have a better insight into their motivations. I’d know what made them tick.
Thanks for having me with you today, Regan! I’m looking forward to hosting you on my blog in the near future.
If you are curious about Jana, here she is in her own words:
Jana Richards has tried her hand at many writing projects over the years, from magazine articles and short stories to full-length paranormal suspense and romantic comedy. She loves to create characters with a sense of humor, but also a serious side. She believes there’s nothing more interesting then peeling back the layers of a character to see what makes them tick.
When not writing up a storm, working at her day job as an Office Administrator, or dealing with ever present mountains of laundry, Jana can be found on the local golf course pursuing her newest hobby.
Jana lives in Western Canada with her husband Warren, along with two university aged daughters and a highly spoiled Pug/Terrier cross named Lou. You can reach her through her website at http://www.janarichards.net
You can find me on the web at http://www.janarichards.net I blog weekly at http://janarichards.blogspot.com on topics of writing and the writer’s life.
And for a fun sample of her writing:
For the first time since her husband’s death, Hannah Kramer can imagine herself with another man. But then she discovers the truth about Quinn Anderson’s reason for staying at the bed and breakfast at her farm. He’s there to buy farmland from her cash-strapped friends and neighbors and resell it to foreign buyers. How can she love a man bent on destroying the way of life she loves? Will Quinn convince her that he wants to build her community, not destroy it? Can he make her believe he loves her before time runs out in September?