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I love history. My inspiration to write the novel I am working on blossomed while reading about people who had lived through World War I and World War II, and it was the drama of how they survived through those mammoth events that planted the seed for my novel.

I love research. And let me tell you, I had no idea exactly how many things I would have to search out in order to create a story with authenticity. One of my plotlines takes place in 1943 during the Invasion of Southern Italy in World War II. The other plotline in my novel takes place in 1994 in the San Francisco Bay Area of California and Santa Fe, New Mexico. There are clearly delineated sequences in these stories from earlier years and other locations that relate to the life experiences of the main characters. Scores of period elements and locales to research.

I love learning. Thank God! Not a clue did I have how much I would learn during these three or more years that I have been engaged in the process. Here are a few areas of my research:

HISTORICAL CALENDARS, HISTORICAL WEATHER, PHASES OF THE MOON:
   1943 Ravello, Italy; 1936 London, England; 1923 Berlin, Germany;
   1933 Santa Monica, California; and 1994 San Francisco and Santa Fe

BENEDICTINE ABBEYS: Italy, United States

THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES 1919

GHOST RANCH, NEW MEXICO

GEORGIA O'KEEFFE: 1946 New Mexico

FIREARMS USED IN WORLD WAR II, GERMAN & ALLIED

ALLIED ARMY MEALS ON THE BATTLEFIELD

GERMAN MILITARY AIRCRAFT

FIVE DEADLY POISONS THAT CAN BE COOKED UP AT HOME

THE VILLA CIMBRONE, RAVELLO

LA FONDA HOTEL, SANTA FE

BREEDS OF LIVESTOCK

CHRISTMAS IN LONDON 1936

MILITARY BATTLE MAPS INVASION OF ITALY

SHEET MUSIC, LYRICS, KEYS: Classical music selections

ROMAN GODDESS DIANA

TORNADO CHARACTERISTICS

VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM, LONDON: Floor plan, collections

ART SCHOOLS: Prague, Czechoslovakia Early 1960s; London mid-1960s

MOTOR HOMES 1994

BERLIN CABARET AND STREET MAPS 1920s

AUTUMN VEGETABLES AND FLORA RAVELLO 1943

TERRAIN: All locations

DATES OF INVASION, MOVEMENT OF TROOPS, COMBAT: 1943 Southern Italy

SANTA FE OPERA 1994: Operas performed, singers, conductors, attendance

GRAND PIANOS: In use in Europe 1943

LIFE OF SAINT BENEDICT

VINTAGE FRENCH FABRIC AND PATTERNS

ANTIQUE GAS STOVES

HIGH RANKING NAZI OFFICIALS: Hitler, Göring, Goebbels, Hess, Von Ribbentrop

HOW TO TUNE A VIOLIN

MUSSOLINI AND HIS FASCIST REGIME

VINTAGE NEAPOLITAN COFFEE POTS

These are but a few of the places my research has taken me. From the grand to the miniscule, the sublime to the ridiculous. From the tools of global warfare to the utensils of everyday life. Many, many instruments of research have I entered from books: biographies, memoirs, chronicled accounts and analyses by British, American, German, and Italian authors and historians; to films: documentaries, fictions based on fact; daily personal journals of those who took part as it was happening; and the vast array of resources found on The Worldwide Web.

Having spent much time on details of action, plot, and authenticity, I have just completed my fifth revision of the WWII Italian Invasion plotline and am focusing coming revisions on the deepening and expanding of my characters there, after which I must return to the San Francisco/Santa Fe plotline and begin the process again with that cast of characters.

Even though my plan was to have this novel finished by the beginning of 2015, I must acknowledge that it will not be ready that soon. So, I say to you: Great things come to those who wait a little longer!

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