One week from today, Flight Before Dawn launches!
|Cliffs at Etretat in Normandy|
As part of the continuing behind the scenes tour, today I’d like to explore the theme of why Normandy…
Flight Before Dawn begins in Normandy in 1943. For many, Normandy is iconic for WWII. Those memories and thoughts usually focus around D-Day. I wanted to explore before D-Day, in the buildup to the Allies landing, in those days of hoping for the future and not yet knowing what it would mean. We all have times of waiting, of needing light and hope in a seemingly dark place. That is what the heart of Flight Before Dawn explores, the courage and the hope when faced with difficult, and sometimes impossible, situations.
Normandy is also in my blood. In addition to historical research, genealogy is something that I enjoy exploring. I’ve discovered that I have centuries of Norman blood in me. Perhaps, that helps explain why when I really did visit Normandy, while living in Germany during high school, I felt at home. I walked the beaches of D-Day, but I also visited Monet’s home at Giverney, the Bayeux tapestry, the beautiful cathedral of Rouen and the enchanting island of Mont St. Michel. Normandy breathes history and unleashes its magic over you. Joan of Arc is famously linked to Rouen and thereby Norman history. Her spirit of courage was something that Victoire in Flight Before Dawn embodies.
|Mont St. Michel in Normandy, France|
I’m American, but I live in Ireland with my Irish husband. Normandy and Ireland are also not so unalike. In fact, the beaches of Wexford were used in the filming of Saving Private Ryan. Standing on Irish beaches, I’ve often thought of how they looked like Normandy. As I first began to envision Flight Before Dawn, I looked across the Irish beaches and was reminded of when I had walked the Norman shores. I recalled picking up a rock that was streaked with red on Utah beach. It was almost as if the blood of the battles had stained it. History etched itself onto the landscape. Still, you can see the bullet holes. Still, war whispers from the shadows. Yet, despite all of that, peace is alive and beautiful in the lush green of Normandy. It is a peace that I strive to convey in my writing and that Victoire earnestly hopes for in Flight Before Dawn.
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My best to you all,