Thursday, December 8, 2016


On this 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day, I had the privilege of interviewing Inspirational WWII author Gail Kittleson this week. I hope you are blessed by her writing journey.

It's great to have you, Gail. How long have you been writing? 

I’ve been writing since adolescence, when poetry was my favorite genre.

What/who inspired you to write?

I’d have to say my middle school and high school teachers. Mrs. Morford, a dyed-in-the-wool grammarian, even inspired me to love diagramming sentences. Goes to show how much influence one instructor can wield. I even used this teacher in my novel.

How neat! You write Historical Christian fiction set during World War II. What interests you about this particular time period? 

Everything about World War II interests me, even the atrocities that can really depress a person. Just last night, I was re-reading about Operation Jedburgh, which sent Americans trained by the OSS into France before D-Day. Some of them suffered terribly in the effort to aid the Resistance.

But their accomplishments changed the course of the war. They blew railroads, blocked roads, destroyed Nazi truck tires, and performed myriad other acts of sabotage to hinder the movement of the Waffen SS and Das Reich (Hitler’s ferocious tank battalions) from their winter refitting in the south to Normandy.

It’s no fun pondering the agony of having one’s eyes gouged out by the Gestapo, but the German atrocities only highlight the bravery of those who willingly took the risk.

Can you give us an overview of your new release, In Times Like These?

This story, starring a young Iowa farm wife, Addie Bledsoe, came out in April. Addie faces her own battles with her volatile husband Harold, who longs to join the Army, but cannot due to his father’s stroke. As the Pearl harbor attack ignites war sentiment across the nation, Harold takes out his fury on Addie. Oh, he's too tuned in to others' opinions to hit her physically, but sends emotional and mental blows from every direction.

Who is your favorite character? Why?

 Aside from Addie, whose make-do attitude and irrepressible positivity win my respect, I think Jane, Addie’s down-the-road neighbor, is my favorite. Her brand of practical philosophy, honed through a lifetime of hard knocks, rings true to Addie far more deeply than any platitudes or pat answers others might pose. And her flower garden sends a message to everyone who passes her simple farmstead--in fact, that's what attracts Addie to stop by for their first conversation.

Jane is as tried and true as George, the rural mailman who displays loyalty in the midst of dire times. Perhaps surviving World War I has something to do with Jane and George’s indefatigable resilience and humor. Can you imagine enduring not just one, but two World Wars?

No I can't. What is the main message/theme you hope to relay to readers?

Sometimes finding one’s voice takes time. Childhood trauma, broken promises, and false teachings about faith can sidetrack a person in this vital pursuit. Often, we may not even realize we haven’t found our voice—perhaps we’ve allowed others’ voices to fill that void.

But slow as it may seem, this path to discovery is worth all the effort required. When the truth begins to dawn on us, we hear the first faint sounds of our voice rising from the depths of our soul. We face a frightening choice, then. Will we allow our voices to be heard, no matter how what we have to say might upset the status quo?  

Throughout this process, our faith grows, for our voice is a part of being made in our Creator’s image. The many ups and downs of Addie’s story and the encouragement she receives from her best friend in London, Jane, George, and even her mother-in-law have encouraged my readers. One of them has earmarked the novel, and says it’s helping her through a thorny relationship.  

 That's wonderful! Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring authors?

Pay attention to the voice within you. Many times we seek guidance from outside, but I’ve learned that often, our true polar star has been with us all along, and awaits discovery.

Thanks, Gail! It's been great.

Thanks so much, Cynthia, for having me visit. 


  1. Hi Gail: Interesting blog on WWII. My parents generation had the responsibility to face the demons across two oceans before they conquered the world with their evil control. So proud of my family's history: grandfather served the British Marines in WWI, my dad and his brother in WWII, my brother in Viet Nam, also my ex-husband with the Marines. I'm sure your stories are interesting, because you've researched and worked hard to master the craft of writing fiction.

    About that inner voice - I remind God to drop a brick on my head to get my attention, because I've missed the clues many times. I need to dismiss all the distractions when I'm trying to make decisions and then the voice comes through.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

    1. Boy, do I hear you on that BRICK, Diane! And your family's service to their nations would make anyone proud - what a heritage.

  2. Enjoyed reading Gail's interview. I am a big fan of WWII historical fiction. One of the reasons for that is that my Dad was a WWII vet. I really enjoy Gail's books. In Times Like These was a wonderful book.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Ann. So glad you enjoyed it!

    2. Seems like their era still affects us in ways we realize more as we age, Ann. At least, that's how it is for me.

  3. Great interview! I look forward to reading Gail's newest book.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Lynn. Blessings!

    2. Hey, Lynn- I'm picturing your farm as white right now as our town - thanks for taking the time to stop in here. Christmas blessings to you.