Today it is my privilege to have Theresa Anzaldua visiting the blog. An interview with Theresa follows below as she talks about writing and her recently published book, We Had a Job to Do (see my review here). A bio follows the interview providing more information about Theresa as well as how you may connect with her online.
Don’t miss the giveaway immediately following our conversation!
Please join me in welcoming Theresa to Puddletown!
Q: There have been so many books written about WWII. What makes your book different?
A: I started this project by writing a magazine article about a WWII veteran. A military expert encouraged me to interview more veterans and tell their stories. Whenever I told people I was interviewing veterans, I kept getting the same response: “I don’t really know much about WWII, but I wish I did.” I decided to write the book for these people. It’s a very readable book, not a dry history, and gives the reader the basic history of the war through personal stories.
Q: What did you enjoy best in researching and writing the book?
A: Getting to know the veterans has been an absolute honor and pleasure. I visit them and talk with them on the phone, and they’re like a second family to me now. I’m going to visit Mrs. Phelps and Mr. Burrus in Birmingham, Alabama, to celebrate Veterans’ Day with them. I’m really excited about that!
Q: What did you do before becoming a writer and did that work help you in writing?
A: I worked as a corporate and then government attorney in Washington, D.C., for more than ten years, before I had children. I really honed my research and writing skills doing that work.
Q: How did you research the book?
A: My research is based on official, U.S. government documents and, of course, the interviews with the veterans. I hope that some of my readers might go on to develop an interest in some of the great scholarly books out there that delve into the many debatable and controversial aspects of the war. My book is simply a basic history.
Q: How did you choose which stories to include?
A: I wanted the book to be modern, so I made sure to include the service of women and minorities, which many people don’t know much about. For instance, Native Americans were so eager to serve that rumors and legends about their patriotism grew into tall tales. Rumor had it that Native Americans would wait in line all night at recruiting stations. They supposedly brought their own personal guns so that they could ask to skip basic training, take their guns and go off to fight in the war immediately!
Q: What was the hardest story to write, emotionally?
A: Many of them were pretty heart wrenching to write, but I think the hardest was Mr. Dunn’s story because after I interviewed him I read the journal he kept as a German prisoner of war. He was a good writer and vividly portrayed the suffering that he and his buddies endured for months and months.
Q: What is your next project?
A: I’d like to write more about WWII, with more of a focus on the home front, so I’m interested in interviewing anyone who remembers the era. After that, I’d like to write about Vietnam.
Thanks for your interest!
Theresa, thank you for writing about our men and women who secured our freedom during WWII and for being with us today.
Win 1 of 9 gift sets including a copy of “We Had a Job to Do,” one
(3’x5’ American flag) and one gently used Glen Miller CD
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Meet the Author: The author is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, B.A. (English Literature and Philosophy) and M.A. (Philosophy) and Harvard Law School, J.D. Her mother served in World War II in the U.S. Army, her father served in the U.S. Navy, her maternal uncle served in the war in the British Marines Commandos and fought in Normandy on D-Day, and another maternal uncle was killed in a training accident in Texas while serving in the U.S. Army. Her grandfather was wounded fighting for Britain in World War I.
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