Tuesday, January 11, 2011

PositivelyPittsburghLive, MilitaryWriter's Society, World War II Authors

Just like old time radio, once again by popular demand, World War II writer's this time will talk about their books and read passages from them. This is a prelude each month with different genre of writers to to the Military Writer Society of American annual national conference right here in Pittsburgh, Pa in October. These authors have a story to tell of a great generation during World War II.

Mark Ozeroff, Author "Days of Smoke"
Joyce Faulkner,  Author, “In the Shadows of Suribachi”
Blaine Pardoe,  Author – “Lost Eagles”.......

Mark Ozeroff
Author ~ 
Days of Smoke
Video Trailer ~ Animoto

Mark Ozeroff holds a near-religious fervor for aeronautical history. A lifelong pilot, he lives on an eclectic airport with aircraft ranging from Sopwith to Learjet -- it wasn't unusual during the creation of DAYS OF SMOKE for engine song from a P-51 Mustang to nourish a burgeoning dogfight scene. Though he holds an MBA, it took until age forty-two for Mark to finally realize that he wanted to be a writer. Mark believes that fiction can sometimes tell a more profound truth than history.

Talking Points:
>Novel looks at both WWII air combat and Holocaust (tied in by love interest, Rachel) 
       ~Winds fictional characters and events around a solid core of history
       ~While ostensibly a novel of WWII air combat, novel is really about intolerance
~With German pilots (including Gunther Rall, #3 German ace)
      ~With US combat vets, who taught me true extent of Hitler's threat
      ~Live on airport with WWII aircraft
~I'm Jewish, and I used my family history in Holocaust part of novel
      ~Took many flying scenes out of my pilot's logbook 
~First flight at age 12 in 1927 Ford Tri-Motor 
      ~Pilot for 32 years -- allows me to write authentic flying scenes
~Have studied WWII history for 4 decades
>Flattered beyond words to be recognized by service men and women of MWSA

Book Description:
DAYS OF SMOKE looks at war and Holocaust through the eyes of Hans Udet, a flyer involved from the earliest days with Hitler's air force. Across battlefields raging over much of Europe, Hans progresses from naïve young fighter pilot to ace of increasing rank and responsibility. But unfolding events pit Hans' love of the Fatherland against his natural compassion for humanity, after he saves a young Jewish woman from brutal assault. As growing feelings for Rachel sensitize him to the so-called "Jewish problem," Hans is torn between mounting disdain for the Nazis and his sense of duty to Germany. Rachel is the unlikely bridge between his two warring halves.

Joyce Faulkner,
Author, “In the Shadow of Suribachi”.  President of Military Writers Society
  • Born in Fort Smith Arkansas in 1948.  My mother was a beautiful, dignified woman who was the daughter of a wealthy man.  My father came from poorer stock.  He was a veteran of the Battle of Iwo Jima.
  • When I was ten years old, twelve years after the battle, my dad had a "nervous breakdown"...we know now that it was ptsd, however at the time, they didn't know what to do with him...so they gave him shock treatments. When he came home, unlike most other World War II veterans during the 1950s, he couldn't stop talking.  
  • The stories came out in bits and pieces though and it wasn't until I decided to write about them and did the research that I really began to see the whole picture.
  • I wrote "In the Shadow of Suribachi" to talk about the experiences of the universal soldier....and to talk about the costs of war.
  • It received the 2005 Gold Medal for Historical Fiction from MWSA.
  • There are many stories layered together that were based on historical events, the memories of a variety of veterans, and the perspectives of a variety of people that come together in an interesting way.
  • I was interested in a work that showed people exactly what it is that our troops must do on our behalf...to show them as human beings who must deal with these experiences in some way throughout the rest of their lives.  I didn't intend it to be a political or cautionary tale...it's simply a story of what happened and how what happened impacts people.

Joyce Faulkner
Coauthor of "Sunchon Tunnel Massacre Survivors"
Author of "For Shrieking Out Loud!"
Author of "In the Shadow of Suribachi"
Author of "Losing Patience"

Blaine Pardoe
Author - Lost Eagles


Blaine was born in Newport News VA and raised in Battle Creek Michigan.  He graduated Central Michigan University in 1985 with a bachelors degree in business administration.  During three years of his college life he wrote for the school’s award winning newspaper, the CM Life, as an editorial columnist. 

Blaine moved to Southfield Michigan where he wrote part-time while working at various leadership positions at Ford, GM and Chrysler.  He wrote numerous science fiction reference and game books for the BattleTech and Star Trek product lines.  He married his wife Cyndi while living in Southfield and had two children, Victoria and Alexander. 

True to his roots, Blaine and family relocated to Virginia.  He eventually took on a management role at Ernst & Young LLP while pursuing his writing career.  His first novel, Highlander Gambit, paved the way for a number of science fiction novels.  He worked on the highly successful BattleTech and MechWarrior lines, eventually authoring a dozen novels and countless sourcebooks and game supplements. 

His book, Cubicle Warfare earned him national recognition as an expert on office politics.  He has appeared in Fast Company magazine and on numerous national television and radio programs. 

In 2005 Blaine wrote his first military history (non-fiction) book, The Cruise of the Sea Eagle.  This book paved the way for him to work on military history and fiction books, both of which he has a deep passion about. 

He currently lives in Amissville Virginia outside of Washington DC in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  He is enrolled at Argosy University in their Doctorate Program in Education. 

This is about Lost Eagles:

His name was Frederick  W. Zinn and he changed how America dealt with it's warriors missing in action.  Zinn, a native of Galesburg Michigan, graduated the University of Michigan in 1914 and set out to tour Europe.  He arrived just as the Great War broke out.  Zinn joined the French Foreign Legion and fought in several vicious campaigns before transferring to the French Air Service.  He was a member of the illustrious Lafayette Flying Corps and his former Legionnaire comrades served in the such squadrons as the Lafayette Escadrille. 
When America entered WWI Fred Zinn was the first American transferred from French service to General Billy Mitchell's staff.  He was in charge of personnel and training - sending all of the American's replacement aviators and observers to the front.  When the war ended, he proposed an idea revolutionary to the War Department.  He said that he wanted to search for the missing men he had sent to war.  He felt that he could find them and bring home their remains, to bring closure to their families.  It was a concept that the American military had never even considered. 
He worked in a tiny office in occupied Berlin, even enlisting the aid of former German ace, Ernst Udet in his quests.  After months of painstaking retracing of final flights, Fred Zinn had recovered the bodies or personal effects of 195 of the 200 missing American airmen. 
When WWII broke out Zinn lobbied the War Department to set up a system to recover the remains of the missing aviators.  Leveraging his relationships with men like Eddie Rickenbacker and General Hap Arnold, Zinn created the Missing Air Crew Report System.  His techniques such as standardized serial numbers on aircraft parts ensured that countless families would learn the fates of their missing men. 
When the Army Air Corps would not let him continue his work, Fred joined the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor of the CIA.  There his ground search for missing airmen was to be his cover as he conducted work for X2, Counterintelligence.  Fred's painstaking efforts recovered the remains of hundreds of airmen while he spied against the Italians and Germans. 
Patriot, innovator, aviator, politician, humanitarian, and hero - Fred Zinn was all of these things.  His efforts changed forever how America dealt with its missing airmen.  His legacy lives on today in the Air Force Creed, "…I will leave no airman behind…" 


No comments: