Friday, March 3, 2017

Gail Kittleson and With Each New Dawn

My next “Women of the Heartland” novel is here!

With Each New Dawn
Women of the Heartland, book 2

February, 2017
Heritage Beacon Hill
$3.99 eBook
$7.95 Print

Buy on Amazon 

American RAF widow Kate Isaacs leaves war-torn London to parachute into southern France and aid the French Resistance. Her alliance with grieving Basque shepherd-turned-Resistance fighter Domingo Ibarra brings both sorrow and relief as she discovers her familial roots, along with second chances.

Domingo, a grieving Basque mountain guide-turned-saboteur, meets her parachute drop, tends her injured ankle, and carries her to safety. Reunited a few months later, they discover the injured Monsieur le Blanc who, with his dying breath, reveals a secret that changes Kate's life.

In the shadow of the Waffen SS, Domingo's younger brother Gabirel is missing. While Domingo seeks Gabirel, Domingo's parish priest, Père Gaspard, creates a new identity for Kate.

As Kate and Domingo subject their mutual attraction to the cause of freedom, can mere human will and moral courage change the war's tide and forge a future for them?

Gail, what do you love about this book? 
Just before the final edit of the proof copy, I thought, “I am SO tired of this manuscript…” But part way through, it hit me again how much I love the characters. Writing about World War II folks always intrigues me, and my characters’ integrity impresses me. I’ve learned there’s no reason to fear our questions, so why hide them? (My hero and heroine certainly don’t!)

This time, layering the personality of the Basque shepherd hero taught me so much about his origins and worldview.  As far as I know, I’ve yet to meet a person of Basque heritage, but Domingo is SO real to me. He’s humble, compassionate, strong, and his faith tempers his actions and attitudes. What a guy—can’t wait for readers to meet him.

Lisa: That sounds typical. Surprisingly there are people of Basque heritage in the western states!

Share two things you learned during the writing or publishing journey of this sequel?
Oh my...only two? I learned far more about various Waffen SS atrocities in Southern France en route to fight the Allies after D-Day.

Kate’s character also taught me many facets of the role and function of Secret British agents behind enemy lines.

Introduce us to your least favorite character.
This is a little tough, because I honestly feel close to them all. But I suppose Mrs. Culver would come in last. She’s not my type of woman at all—she’s organized, efficient, and always in control. Of course, without people like her, the world would probably stop turning ... I guess I have a basic resistance to folks who are extremely methodical and structured. I’d choose a spontaneous, impulsive character for a friend any day.

Lisa: Funny! It can be cathartic to create a character opposite of our comfort level.

What are you reading now?
A nonfiction book about Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Amazing how carefully even their marital spats were detailed.

What’s next for you? I’m working on the third Women of the Heartland novel. Oh boy... tons more research, and right now, this story begins with a flashback. Never tried that before, but it seems right. We’ll see what an editor thinks, eh?

Thanks for having me, Lisa.

Lisa: Best wishes, Gail.

About the Author:
Gail Kittleson taught college expository writing and English as a Second Language. Now she writes memoir and women's fiction, and facilitates writing workshops and women's retreats. She makes her home in northern Iowa, where she and her husband enjoy their grandchildren and gardening. In winter, the Arizona mountains provide new novel fodder.

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