The unintended consequences of studying WWII

I have a WWII romance in the writing queue. After finishing Slayers 4, an Echo Ridge romance novella, and an upcoming project that I haven’t seen the contract for so I won’t announce yet, I will finish it. And because I know it’s there I’ve been watching WWII documentaries and reading books set in WWII for about a year. Here are some things that will happen to you if you study the subject as well.

  1. You will be hungry. Seriously. I don’t think you can learn about Leningrad or rationing without getting hungry–or looking at your pantry and wondering how long you’d last if war broke our. Or stockpiling food because of the aforementioned question.
  2. You sources won’t always be clear. I watched one documentary yesterday that said Britain had 40 million people living there during the war. One today said 50 million. Ten million is quite a difference when it comes to a place the size of Idaho. Germany and England have different dates for how long they think the Battle of Britain lasted. How can I be accurate when my sources (in this case both documentaries put out by the government during the war) contradicts itself?
  3. You will be dumbfounded. I can’t wrap my mind around the magnitude of this war or the depths to which humanity will sink. I understand madmen exist. It’s so much harder to understand that nations will follow them. And it wasn’t just Hitler. The atrocities from Japan were just as bad. And Stalin was in some ways worst because he committed atrocities against his own people. (And Russia was helping Germany up until the day Germany betrayed Russia and attacked them. I haven’t learned much about Italy but I’m assuming it wasn’t much better. ) How could that many people be so brutal?
  4. For every one question you find an answer for, it will raise two other questions. I finally decided on a bomber for my German character and in doing so learned that they didn’t just take off from Germany and France. They also had air bases in Norway and Belgium. Now I’ve got to figure out which base his squadron  came from on the day of the attack in Chapter one. At the rate I’m going, I will never finish researching.
  5. You will see death. It’s odd to look at the footage of crashing planes or dead soldiers and realize this isn’t Hollywood’s fakery. It’s real death. I’ve seen the moments before someone died captured on film. Over and over again. I’ve seen countless dead bodies that used to be someone’s son, brother, father, husband. These people had plans, goals, and personalities before war came and cut them all short. And it’s horrible to see and know that it’s real. Yet at the same time, I think every person alive should learn about WW2. It’s not just history, it’s the ultimate cautionary tale.

 


Comments

The unintended consequences of studying WWII — 10 Comments

  1. My daughters birthday is coming up. Could you tell me where I could find some autographed copies of your fair godmother books? Those are her favorites!

  2. I had a similar reaction when I watched the movie “Letters from Iwo Jima.” I’m an American who grew up in Japan, so I empathized with and felt revulsion towards both sides. The only other movie that made me cry as hard as LfIJ was The Passion of the Christ.

    I hate war.

    —–

    On a different note, I wanted to let you know I mentioned one of your books in my blog post today. Sorry that there’s such a large dissonance between your blog post and mine, but I wanted you to know and I wasn’t sure you’d see my comment if I left it on an older post.

    • The more I learn about the war the more horrible it seems. It’s unfathomable to imagine how so many people could be so brutal to so many others. The lack of humanity is amazing. And one of the awful things is knowing that human nature hasn’t changed. Our civilization is just as capable of committing those atrocities now as it was decades ago.
      On a lighter note, thanks for mentioning my book in your blog!

    • No, still not done. I have three more scenes to write and then I need to revise. Unfortunately, I keep running into deadlines For other projects. I have a novella that was due May 1 that I stopped writing slayers to finish. I’m not planning on writing the WWII novel until I’m finished with Slayers 4, but since I know it will take so much research, when I listen to an audiobook or watch TV while walking on the treadmill, I’m always reading or watching stuff about World War II

  3. I was able to find it on the store but it says this book is currently not avalible. Hmm. II’d love a copy. How much are they?

  4. Connie Willis’ “Blackout/All Clear” books are a fascinating sci-fi/historical fiction about WWII in England. It’s incredible to learn about the things they experienced and went through. It’s something I think our generation will never completely understand, and I applaud you for the amount of research that I know writing a book like that will take!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *