Stories Popping Up from Readers

In the past two weeks I’ve been in several places where others have shared stories about underground activities and other resistance efforts in Norway during  the years of German occupation. Sometimes this isn’t  surprising. I visited the District Five Sons of Norway Convention with the express purpose of talking about the book to a room filled with people who have family and history of a personal nature from Norway. They were generous and excited to share examples of the war years passed through family and friends over the generations.

Book display at Sons of Norway District Five Conference in Delavan

Book display at Sons of Norway District Five Conference in Delavan

Needless to say, I filled many pages with notes when I returned from that visit.

I’m always pleased when friends ask about the book and share their reactions from reading it. The unexpected bonus, though, is the frequency with which readers are relating their own stories of Norway’s occupation years, especially if they are not themselves Norwegian. At a shower today, I heard two very detailed family (in-law) stories that will also claim notebook space.

Finally, young readers whose experience with the war years is limited to other readings, video games, and film depictions have asked wonderful questions, attempting to sort out the time, space, and reality of that dramatic and life-changing time and space. Their curiosity and concern is so genuine and intense, it gives me hope for the future of the world. That’s the feeling I had (and miss) in day-to-day classroom life. Reality can be – IS – more compelling than any video game or virtual world, if we can just keep young readers reading!

Those stories, suggested book titles, questions, and discussions are not likely to make their way into future writing intact, but I am already seeing the threads of personalities, situations, and relationships that will be woven into the fabric of the fictional story I’m creating. I continue to read extensive additional research and sort through previous research. It’s these personal stories, though, that offer readers an emotional connection, that make the day-to-day reality of the occupation come to life.

So, It’s about time I called on readers here to share their own stories, recommend book titles, and ask questions about the German occupation of Norway from 1940-1945.  If you prefer to email me through the contact page, please do so. Comments here, though, might generate responses from other readers and lead to  some interesting conversations.

I can’t wait to hear from you. Who knows what threads may weave them into a future story?


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