One of the most gratifying experiences in writing Wings was hearing from people who had relatives who served during the war. Generally I would mention the subject matter of the book, and people very graciously volunteered information about their relatives who were in the Army Air Corps,like Otto. One lady from Chorale told me about her father who was a radio operator on a B-17 and also gave me copies of news articles about a crew reunion in the 1980’s and copies of a handwritten account about the numbering of his bomber’s missions. They are incredible documents that gave me insight into the people who took the war to the enemy. Other people told me about their fathers and uncles who were shot down and spent years in POW camps. I treasure their accounts and thank them for their willingness to share.
The book is a direct account of Otto’s experiences during the war. The home front is represented by his sister Mata. Otto writes letters home to her and there are couple from her about what she is experiencing at home. Those who served by “standing and waiting” are an important part of the war story, and I plan to focus on their experience by one day writing an adjunct novel called Mata’s Story detailing those years covered in Wings, but from Mata’s point of view. Of course, that book will come after the two sequels to Wings. I already have them both in mind. Stay tuned.