Hi, everyone! I am Cheryl and I wrote See Ya, which traces relationships and stories through generations and years from the 1940s to the 1990s.
See Ya began when my father died and I realized how much of his life has been apart from the man I knew. The ties to World War II happened when some questions came to light about his knowledge of the Greatest Generation and it made me curious.
As I researched, many veterans came to talk to me in a variety of settings as it became known that I was writing book about World War II. My favorite story is still the first one I ever heard, when I was seventeen and visiting my aunt and uncle for a Christmas break. I was lucky in my Uncle Jean, he was a funny, smart man who loved history and good writing. On that pale December afternoon, he told me about being nineteen and liberating prison camps across Germany at the end of the war.
How one day guns were booming, the sky was heavy and dark and the smell of shells and bullets filled the air. And overnight, Germany surrendered and the fighting stopped. The next day he was out driving in a jeep under a soft blue sky and sunshine and small flowers flooded the forest and roadside he was on. He rounded a curve in the road and a castle loomed overhead. "The Disney Castle" I grew up hearing it called, Jean knew it as Neuschwanstein.
And that day it loomed high on a cliff overlooking his road. He was so very young, far from home and had seen unspeakable things as they freed the survivors of those camps. He pulled to the side of the road at that moment and thought about how only the day before it had been dark and gray and full of death, and today, that day, was sun and flowers and a strikingly beautiful castle towering above him.
He carried that memory in his heart and told me about it thirty-one years later as we sat on an old swing under a live oak tree. I was the only one he spoke to about that War until the 1990s. How honored I was to learn that from my aunt, and still feel so. It is funny, many of the veterans I listened to told me the same thing, that it took them fifty or sixty years to talk about those years and experiences.
I put that memory in See Ya, it is the first soldier's experience that I gave Franz. It was the heart of who I wanted to write about. These days those tellers and stories are fast disappearing as our veterans grow older, so listen if you can, the character and bravery shines down through the years, I promise.
Thank you for your interest in See Ya. it was a Military Fiction finalist in 2010 and Small Press Reviews gave it a "thumbs up". Even better, readers send good comments of how much they enjoyed it. Redroom has hard copies available and it does exist as an ebook that you can download, too. Please let me know through Redroom, or ChanterPress@yahoo.com, if you have questions or comments. I wish you all good reading! Cheryl