Did you know that Hermann Goering was so vain he changed his uniform four times a day? I learned this from the research I did for Operation Ruby Slipper, the fictional story of how Judy Garland is sent by the OSS to bring back a photo of a reclusive Nazi physicist. This man, Franz Kintner, is developing a nuclear-powered battery for Hitler's U-Boats -and the allies need to take him out. Because this battery could derail the Normandy landings. Two new non-fiction books -just published- deal with the actual figures who outfoxed the Germans in WWII. I'm in the middle of reading Ben MacIntyre's Double Cross. Fascinating period, rich in drama, and because I knew Judy, I thought it'd be marvelously suspenseful to place her behind German lines in the care of an MI6 handler, a double agent working within the Reich as Goering's art expert. My reading included books about submarines, the German nuclear program (the members of the Uranverein) and memoirs by General Patton, German commander Albert Kesselring, and war correspondent Martha Gellhorn. I used each of these figures in the book, plus many others (Eisenhower, Howard Hughes, Harry Hopkins). I found myself breathless with excitement as I constructed situations that placed Judy in the most perilous danger -and smiling as I invented the witty dialogue for which she was famous (she once said of husband Sid, who grabbed not only her money but the rights to her TV series -"I think he has the rights to my reincarnation.") WWII never seems to fade as a subject of interest.