Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Meet the Greatest Generation - My Family

During World War II, everyone pitched in. If you were a farmer, you worked longer and harder to grow more food for civilians and the military. If you were a miner, you dug more coal. If you were a little kid, you collected rubber and metal and saved aluminum gum wrappers. Women moved in droves to Washington to work as clerk typists, including my Mom, for the princely sum of $1,440 per year.  But if you were a male between the ages of 18 and 35, there's a good chance you were in uniform. From left to right: Uncle Joe, Aunt Mim, Uncle Tom, Aunt Ann, and friend.

Uncle Joe was on Omaha Beach on D-Day and Uncle Tom was on the USS Pompoon that was sunk off of Cuba. He survived, but most of his shipmates didn't. Aunt Mim and Aunt Ann worked as clerks in Washington. After the war, Mim went to work for the State Department in Berlin where she met her husband who had fought in a tank in the Battle of the Bulge. My father's cousin, Patrick Faherty, died when his ship was sunk off the Carolinas. Unfortunately, there is no picture of him. These are just a few of the dozens of pictures I have of my family's contribution to the war effort.

Uncle John (fifth from left) on Omaha Beach
D-Day +1

Uncle Joe (top left) with his crew on a B-17 bomber
Mom getting ready to leave Minooka, PA for
a job in Baltimore with defense contractor, Bendix
When she married my dad, she moved to D.C.
Aunt Mim in Berlin

Uncle Bobby - Army Air Corps

Monday, September 17, 2012

Lancaster Bomber - Darcy Goes to War

In Darcy Goes to War, Fitzwilliam Darcy is the pilot of a Lancaster, the premier bomber of the Royal Air Force. There is an interesting article with pictures on World War II Today which commemorates events that happened 70 years ago today during the Second World War. Darcy is a fictional character. This is the story of the real heroes who flew these missions.

Below is a photograph of a Lancaster bomber.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Launch of Mr. Darcy Goes to War and WWII Posters

Tomorrow, I am officially launching my newest Pride and Prejudice re-imagining, Darcy Goes to War on Austen Authors. Be sure to stop by for a chance to win one paperback or one e-book copy of my novel.

For me, the hardest part of publishing a book is creating the covers. Because I like to keep my prices as low as possible, I do not hire a cover designer, but with the help of my daughter, I do the covers myself. And that is why I am so proud of the cover for Darcy Goes to War! But a great cover is only as good as the image an author uses which is why I was so fortunate to find that the National Archives in Britain recently released dozens of World War II posters into the public domain. The poster I used, Barrage Balloons Over the Thames, is by artist Eve Kirk.

There is so much to see in this picture. The barrage balloons tell you that this is a country at war. Hundreds of balloons soared above London for the purpose of entangling Luftwaffe bombers or to snare the V-1 and V-2 rockets launched in 1944 and 1945. Despite the German air raids, the cranes, warehouses, and bustle of the ships show the port of London is alive and well, and the undamaged Tower Bridge represents the will of the British people to fight on. An aura of calm is created by the pastel palette. In my opinion, Ms. Kirk succeeded in putting on canvas a country that is fighting for its survival, but a nation that will prevail.

To see more British posters from World War II, click here.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Celebrate Labor Day - Thank a Worker

I am the great granddaughter of four coal miners, all Irish immigrants, who worked in the hard-coal country of eastern Pennsylvania. Two of them were killed in roof falls, and one died of pneumonia in his thirties. Both of my grandfathers worked at the coal breaker picking slate out of the coal chutes before they were 12. My father graduated with honors from the University of Scranton and worked in an office near Wall Street. From despair to success in three generations. Celebrate labor!