I can’t tell you how delighted and excited I am to finally be able to present to you The Boys of Summer. This novel hold a special place in my heart, due to the enormous amount of research I found myself doing when I started a little fact-checking for background information.
It’s funny how that happens, isn’t it? It started with a simple scene concept: I wanted to place one of my characters in an RAF fighter pilot’s uniform and have him leaning up against a Spitfire. You might ask, what does that have to do with a contemporary romance about a locations scout for a film company and an ex-Air Force pilot? That’s a good question because the answer is: not much. However, this image just wouldn’t leave me. I decided that I would incorporate it in a little dream sequence, nothing much, just a little nod to WW2 and back to the main story.
Once I began researching the time period, however, I got completely sucked in. I was frankly appalled at how little I knew about the history of WW2, and the Battle of Britain in particular. Germany had been cranking out airplanes and pilots prior to the invasion of France, with the idea of tackling Britain from the air and reducing resistance to rubble, prior to launching a simultaneous land and amphibious attack. It was one of the largest and most prolonged air campaigns, and sustained bombing attacks, as well. For just over four months during the summer and early fall of 1940, a comparatively small force of British pilots held off the Luftwaffe. The inability of the Germans to force Britain into surrender or defeat marked a major turning point in the war. Because Germany couldn’t destroy Britain’s air defenses, Hitler decided not to launch Operation Sea Lion against Britain.
The dream sequence became a major segment of this story. I don’t want to give away too much, but the stories I read of the heroism and acts of everyday ordinary fortitude just blew me away. It became very important to me to try and depict some of what I learned about this time period. I hope that I’ve captured even a fraction of the essence of what it was like to live and fight–and love–during that time. I hope you will enjoy this story and share it with others, too.