We're happy to have Terri Wangard with us talking about her WWII romance, No Neutral Ground.I believe the covers in this series are gorgeous! To learn more about Terri and No Neutral Ground, read on!
Why did you choose to write this book?
At an editor appointment during conference, I was told the book I was pitching probably wouldn’t be contracted unless it was in a series. So I started No Neutral Ground. Like the previous book, Friends and Enemies, it follows a B-17 navigator in World War II. In researching the damaged planes that sought sanctuary in neutral Sweden, I learned about a navigator who convinced his pilot to try to reach Sweden instead of bailing out over Germany. He had fled Germany after being a member of the Hitler Youth, and had no desire to be captured. He became my protagonist, Rafe, who hadn’t known he had Jewish ancestry until he was kicked out of the Hitler Youth. When I told an agent about what I planned for No Neutral Ground, she sought to discourage me from having Rafe be part Jewish. Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust were such huge facets of the war, though, I ran with it.
What kind of planning do you do before writing a novel?
I read as much as I could about the B-17s and the 381st Bomb Group. For No Neutral Ground, I read about Sweden’s role in the war and OSS experiences. With each book in the Promise For Tomorrow series, I tried to outline the story a little more than the previous book. The outlines aren’t very detailed, and every time I start a new project, I think I’ll do better next time. Maybe on my next project, I really will be more of a plotter.
What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?
I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I did work in libraries for a few years before joining my family’s business full-time. By now, my degree is out of date, but I wouldn’t mind being back in a library.
Tell us a little more about yourself, with three things not many people know about you.
Back in my junior high days, I attended concerts by the Osmonds and the Carpenters.
When I first heard that Insight For Living would sponsor an Alaskan cruise, I wanted to go. While on a business trip in Massachusetts, dinner at a Chinese restaurant gave me confirmation in a fortune cookie: “You will soon take a cruise to Alaska.” That fortune is pressed in my cruise photo album. After that trip, I spent twenty years globetrotting on my own.
Since I first learned about the planets in second grade, I’ve been fascinated y astronomy.
Do you listen to music when you write and if so, what kind of music – or do you find it distracts you?
Since I’ve been writing World War II stories, I’ve listened to World War II music. My favorite songs are “Coming In On a Wing and a Prayer” and “I’ll Be Seeing You.” I also listen to soundtracks, including “Pearl Harbor.” I also like instrumentals like Jonn Serrie’s “Epiphany.”
If you could spend an hour with anyone dead or living, who would it be?
My great x 10 (I think) grandmother, Marguerite Martell, who came to New France in the 1600s as a king’s daughter. What was her life like?
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
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