To borrow a phrase from a much quoted song, “don’t pay the ransom, I’ve escaped!” Well…It’s not quite like that but I have been away from writing on Knoxville Heritage for a few months…and I have missed it. But I have not been idle.
World War II has been the subject of as many books as virtually any other in the years since the the war concluded. Some focus on specific battles…others on the air war or fighting on the ground. Many delve deeply into the main principals of the allies and axis powers…Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, etc. Earlier in 2015, after 6+ years of research, interviews, trips across the pond and writing I gave publishing birth to a “fact based historical novel” focused on a family and specific segment of WWII. In these few months A FORTRESS AND A LEGACY has met with some incredibly positive reviews…from both women and men, and from WWII enthusiasts as well as those who have only a modicum of interest in history. Much of the book, especially the first few chapters revolve around Knoxville and Old Knox High.
Reviews indicate that the book’s character portrayal and overarching love story are the embedded threads that give the novel it’s zest and vibrant tapestry. Some of these reviews can be seen at: http://amzn.to/24igPq8. As a result of the book’s acceptance (surprising to me), I have had an opportunity to speak across the country and in England at a number of WWII reunion groups, museums, libraries, book review clubs and other venues. Shortly after publication, WBIR-TV in Knoxville aired an interview at “Live at 5 at 4.”
One picture included here is from a presentation made to the Stalag Luft III POW (Site of The Great Escape on March 24-25, 1944) reunion group at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. It was an honor to have FORTRESS featured at the Air Show along side of Tuskegee Airman and P-51 Pilot Alex Jefferson’s book and one of the last living Doolittle Raider crewmember, Dick Cole’s book. Another is with noted WWII author David Osborne at the Ridgewell Air Base Museum in East Anglia.
In January of this year I spoke at the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum in Savannah, Georgia. It was quite a thrill to be able to introduce my cousin, Rosalind Perrin Davis, to the audience at the conclusion of the hour long talk. She is the daughter of the hero, Ross Perrin, of my fact based novel. I wrote the book primarily to give her the father she never knew. He was killed 35 days before she was born. Rosalind is a 1963 graduate of Holston High School in Knoxville.
Should you like, you can read and watch more of how and why A Fortress and a Legacy came about at afortressandalegacy.com. Books are available much more reasonably than at Amazon at afortressandalegacy.com or by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org The book will be featured at WWII Heritage Days at Falcon Field in Peachtree City, Georgia on Thursday and Friday, April 30-May 1. I’ll be there with an ample supply of books to sign and sell. I’d love to see you there. For details about WWII Heritage Days visit their website here.
Remember, as I do every day, that freedom is not free…it comes at a great cost. It also has great value. Let’s purpose to and pray that it will not be lost in this upside down world in which we live!