Chapter 4 is now posted. I’m sorry it has taken so long to get this one here. I have been very very busy at work and now that spring and summer are here, I’m spending a lot of time on a big backyard project (hot tub, outdoor fireplace, pavers, rock wall, the works). But, I need to keep pressing forward on this.
This chapter was particularly challenging so those of you who read it will need to let me know how it works. The biggest challenge I have in writing this wonderful story is to keep a compelling narrative drive to it while filling in the many details that add important facts, background and richness to the story, but can divert from that narrative drive. I decided to start the book with Joe’s last mission and bailing out rather than go through his childhood, training, family, squadron life, etc. All those things are important but I wasn’t sure the reader would be patient enough to wade through that to get to the “good stuff,” the action, the experiences of capture and Buchenwald, etc.
So my plan is to weave those background details into the story while keeping the chronology going from his last mission to his release from POW camp. And do that without disrupting the flow of the story too much. In this case, there are a lot of details about his capture, the farmers in the field, how he discovered the information about his rescuers that ended his 40 year long torment, etc. Remco Immerzeel in France has been incredibly helpful as I try to credit him in this chapter, but I also have discovered something that must plague most historians. The more the detail from various sources, the more the detail conflicts and the more challenging it can get to find out the “truth.” In some cases, the “truth” doesn’t really impact the story or Joe’s role in it, but I am dedicated to being as historically accurate as possible. And for some of the people and families who find themselves in this story, those details will be most of what they care about. That’s why it is very important to know whether the mayor of Marchefroy who shared that cellar with Joe is named Henri or Marcel Eustache (it’s Henri).
While I think most of what I have in this version of the “back story” relating to the resistance and Joe’s capture is correct, it is likely that certain details will be changed yet.
Remco? What do you think? Are we getting close?