My novel doesn’t really have that much welding in it at all.
It is really about three diverse women on the home front during the forties.
The main character, Lolly experiences what it is like to work and place her children in the first day care center in Richmond California.
The second woman, Sumi a Japanese American storekeeper, gets taken away to the Tanforan horse stable in San Bruno.
Hattie, the third woman, is a Negro welder whose brother is in the Port Chicago explosion (Contra Costa county) and her husband joins the Tuskegee Airmen.
Well now, your novel is beginning to sound interesting!
I see this is your second historical fiction. Why do you write historical fiction?
I like to write about little known parts of history.
The beginning of my novel says, “let us not forget the good parts of history in order to enjoy them. Let us not forget the bad parts of history in order to not repeat them.”
Finding little known pieces of the past and blending them together with factious characters is challenging for me as well as gratifying. It is like putting a puzzle together.
How long have you been writing?
I have only been writing for about six years.
Unlike most authors I never wrote when I was younger.
In my previous life, (before retirement), I bought a Mac laptop for my business. I owned a large daycare center.
I didn’t have much time to write a novel between working fulltime and raising a family, but I enjoyed the magic of my Mac after only having a typewriter.
I was so amazed at the “delete” button and the “cut and paste.”
I started fooling around with it and thought I would write about my mother.
Is She Flew Bombers about your mother?
No, my mother was in the Army during World War II but all she did was type for the Colonel. This was a necessary job but boring to write about!
How I discovered information about the Women Airforce Service Pilots was after reading a huge scrapbook my mother had left me, which even included ration coupons!
I read a two-inch column in one of her Army base newsletters titled, WASPS Fly into WAAC’s barracks.
I was quite surprised to read there were women pilots during WWII.
Asking everyone I knew, I found very few people heard about the adventures of the women pilots during WWII.
This tiny article began my three-year research.
Why do you always write about war?
Many people would be surprised to hear that I actually was a peace activist and marched against the Vietnam War in 1970 in Washington, D.C. (I almost got tear gassed!)
I have a wonderful chapter in She Built Ships where the heroine says, “How could so much death and destruction motivate people to accomplish such feats of cooperation and productivity? I was able to help build an entire ship in four days. Why can’t peace become the motivating force to bring this country together instead of war?”
The last chapter tells the true story of Sadako Sasaki, who was hospitalized with leukemia after the bombing of Hisroshima.
She died at age 12 and followed a Japanese legend trying to fold 1,000 paper cranes so she could be granted one wish.
After folding 644 paper cranes she passed away. There is a statue of her in Japan. Engraved upon the stone it says:
This is our cry
This is our prayer
Peace on earth
Then why do you write about war?
I am totally fascinated by the forties era.
My parents brought me up with forties values; waste not want not, a stitch in time saves nine, etc.!
I enjoy writing and researching about a very short period of time when women were allowed to become strong individuals, because most of the men left and went to war.
Women became pilots, riveters, welders, policewomen, bus drivers, etc . Then the men came home and the women were told to go back into the kitchen, enjoy their modern appliances and MULTIPLY!
Even the women pilots were turned down for commercial pilot jobs and were offered to become stewardesses.
Will men like your new book, She Built Ships During WWII?
I was pleasantly surprised how much men enjoyed She Flew Bombers, but then there are a lot of pilots today!
I’m sure men will like my new book, She Built Ships because of the mutiny after the Port Chicago explosion and Freeman Field Mutiny of the Tuskeege Airmen.
I see you have two blogs.
Yes, the first blog is: http://author-interviews.jeaneslone.com It has been very rewarding to interview other author's. I love helping authors succeed in selling their book after so much hard work! Any author can email me if they wish to be interviewed on my blog.
My second blog is:http://blog.jeaneslone.com it is about females during WWII.
Why did you self-publish this book, I thought you were going to get an agent this time?
As VP of Redwood Writers Club, I attended Agent’s day.
I thought I would traditionally publish She Built Ships, even though it was completely finished and I had already paid for the cover design.
I promised myself that I would send out 100 query letters.
At agent’s day, I discovered that agent’s would not look at the already self-published, She Flew Bomber’s.
Self-published books are not picked up by agents unless they have sold thousands. I have sold 650 so far.
I had my editor’s: Stefanie Freele, (content editor) and Karen Batchelor, (grammar editor) help me make my query letter top notch.
At a Redwood Writer's meeting Donna Levin, X-agent turned editor, read many query letters from the members and said mine was the best!
After over 100 query letters to many types of agents and categories, I self-published, She Built Ships.
What type of rejection letters did you get?
Typical answers from my queries were:
- While your project sounds interesting, I don’t think it is right fit for our agency.
- Promises to be thoughtful and compelling BUT…..I’m not the right agent for your work, see what others think
- The story concept may not be of interest to the publishers
- Due to volumes of submissions we received from unpublished authors this past year, we regret to inform you that we are NOT currently accepting ANY first time fiction authors at this time
- Our agency receives 300 queries a day and are not able to read yours at this time, good luck
- We are currently looking only for historical fiction set in the 16th century, in Europe with Royalty ties
I saw on your web site that you speak to many clubs about your book.
Yes, that is how I sell most of the copies of my novel, by being a guest presenter.
For my new book I have developed a beautiful power point presentation with super photographs from the forties. Readers may email me to arranged guest presentations or book clubs.
Where can I buy She Built Ships During WWII?
You can buy an autographed copy of my book on my website: www.jeaneslone.com through pay pal or email me at email@example.com and I will mail it to you.
I love selling my books at the three local coffee shops: The Bean Affair and Geyserville Mud and SOCO Coffee because they take a low percentage.
Limited copies of my book are available at Copperfield’s in California
Why are there limited copies in Copperfield’s.?
I only receive $2.00 a copy after a long period of time when sold at all bookstores.
Can I buy it on line on Amazon?
Yes, it is available on Amazon but again I only receive $1-2 after many months.
It is available on all electronic devices but again I get very little money for all the work I have done. There are also 25 historical photographs in it and they don’t always come out well electronically. Also you cannot autograph electronic books!
Do you have any advice for writers?
Writing is all about Rewriting!
Writing is fun, rewriting can be tedious. It takes a tremendous amount of discipline.
It is best to pick the time of day or night that you have the most mental energy and write everyday.
When I am done with my first draft, I start reading it aloud. I find more mistakes this way.
Another piece of advice is to pay for an editor or editors. I really liked having a content editor and a grammar editor this time.
Editors who write get an editor for their books because you become critically blind to their own work.
All editors are not good. Take the time and look at all previous books they have edited.
I think it is worth it to pay for a cover designer. A good cover is everything and even the spine is important. I have tiny ships on my spine! I have a great, well qualified cover designer: firstname.lastname@example.org
What books do you read?
I mostly read books from author’s I have met and have a huge shelf of autographed books. That’s one disadvantage of electronic books, you can’t get them autographed. Autographed books make very special copies. When I read them I like to picture and think about the author.
Are you writing a third historical fiction?
Yes, I am researching women spy's during WWII. It is intriguing but also hard to find information.
That book sound like it will be quite a winner! Good luck and thank you for the interview! Everyone please post a comment to be in the drawing to win a copy of Jeane Slone's new historical fiction, She Built Ships During WWII.
Last time winners of Carolyn Jewel's My Immortal Assassin are Sharon, Lisa and Arletta, congratulations!
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