I never thought I’d write a novel set during wartime. I had no desire to make my characters face the hardships and losses that would surely come their way. But when I traveled to England on a research trip I was intrigued by what I learned about life on the home front. So I decided to set A Refuge at Highland Hall in 1915 and take The Ramsey and Foster families into the “Great War.”
As I got into the research I was fascinated with WW1 aviation. I even took a university online course to learn more about it. I decided to make the hero, Alex Goodwin, a brave British pilot who would chase German Zeppelin across the front lines in France and Belgium. Aviation was in its infancy, and many of the early planes looked like stick and paper models. I couldn’t believe they actually flew them on wartime missions! The plane below is an Morane Saulnier, the type Alex flies in A Refuge at Highland Hall.
It took great courage and daring to train as a pilot. Their life expectancy was only 6 weeks. Some lived through the war, but many perished defending their country. There were two main divisions of the military flying missions for Britain: the Royal Air Force and the Royal Naval Air Service. Alex flies for the RNAS.
I was deeply touched when I read the biography of Rex Warnford, a young British pilot, and I used him as the inspiration for Alex. Rex was the first British pilot to successfully drop his bombs on a German Zeppelin and knock it out of the sky.
This was an amazing feat, since he only had six bombs, and the Zeppelin crew had a gunner guarding their airship on top at the rear. Rex’s mission was so thrilling I included much of it in Refuge. I think some readers will think the events are too fantastic — it couldn’t have happened that way . . . but it’s all based on Rex’s story and news accounts of his amazing mission.
It’s a thrilling story, and I hope readers will feel like they are climbing into the cockpit with Alex as he flies through the sky with great courage, determined to protect those he loves. One of those on his mind is Penny Ramsey, the heroine of the story. She and Alex exchange several letters, and when Alex needs a friend, Penny remains faithful.
Do you have your copy of Refuge yet? If not, just click on the covers above, and they’ll take you to my website with easy links to order from your favorite retailer.
It’s been encouraging to read all the great reviews being posted for A Refuge at Highland Hall. If you enjoy the story I hope you’ll consider adding your review on Amazon, GoodReads, or one of the other online review sites. Thanks For sharing the journey with me!
Blessings and Happy Reading,