Guy’s Angel Guest Blog – Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
Sometimes writing a novel reminds me of putting together a recipe. You take a variety of ingredients, stir them all together, cook for awhile and if you’re lucky, the end result is something worthwhile. In writing Guy’s Angel I put together many elements from my past, my hometown, the stories I grew up hearing from my grandparents and other older relatives, my own appreciation for flight, early women aviators like Amelia Earhart who grew up just down river from me in Atchison, Kansas, some romance, and a little more. Add some seasoning and flavor from the real St. Joe circa 1925, toss in a few mythological Valkyries, add Boss Tom Pendergast in a cameo appearance, and you’ve got it – my newest release, Guy’s Angel.
When a young woman really believes the sky is the limit, amazing things can happen…
Lorraine Ryan wants to fly airplanes so she heads for the local airstrip in 1925 to make her dream come true. Most of the flyboys think she’s cute but a woman’s place is in the home, not the cockpit. When Guy Richter steps up and offers to teach her to fly, she’s captivated with both Guy and flight. He nicknames her “Angel” and takes her up into that wild blue yonder. Before long, they’re deep in love.
Love, however, isn’t always enough……
Guy, a former World War I flying ace, is haunted by his past. His demons include his war service, the death of his only brother in an accident the previous year, and the Valkyries that he evaded in
who trail him in the hopes that they can complete his destiny. But his dreams lie with Angel and as they grow closer and closer, he soon realizes that if anyone can save him, it’s his Angel. France
Lee Ann, welcome! Thanks so much for stopping in. I’m thrilled you are here.
To get started would you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a rebel and a dreamer who lives in a small town in the Ozarks, a long way in more than distance from the urban blue collar neighborhood of my childhood. I’m married with three children. I spent a lot of time with my paternal grandparents as a child – they were my caregivers while my parents both worked. They raised me as they had their own children so I’ve always been a generational anomaly, out of sync with my own time just a little. Maybe it’s why I like history so much!
When did you begin writing In the Shadow of War? What inspired this book and how much research was involved in writing it?
My first efforts at writing this novel were about three years ago but I couldn’t quite get the beginning right. Last summer, I sat down and decided this time I knew where to begin and it went from there. The book was inspired by the fact the small town where I live,
, was impacted in a huge way when the Army opened a training camp just outside town as World War II began. Although Neosho, MO Camp Crowder (which Mort Walker, once stationed there, made into his fictional for his Beetle Bailey strip) closed long ago, the remnants remain. I also grew up listening to stories about “the war” and I adore the music of the period. All the elements came together as inspiration. I did an amazing amount of research – even with my background which includes a BA in history. I read soldiers’ letters, local accounts of the 1940’s, visited the back country where bits of the Army camp remain, and more. Camp Swampy
Do you have any writing habits that people might find unusual?
Since I bought my laptop, over a year ago, I take it to write in all kinds of places, at a local café, the park, out on my deck, library, hotel, anywhere. I get a few strange looks especially at the café because no matter where I’m at, I can tune out everything and focus.
What is something that you have always wanted to do, but just haven't gotten around to yet?
I’d like to visit
. It’s one place I haven’t been but I’d love to see it. Alaska
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Spare time? I think I remember the concept, lol. I like to read, research history and genealogy, travel, and just hang out on the front porch to enjoy the world around me.
Are you an early bird or a night owl?
By nature, I’m a night owl but circumstances (like my husband’s work schedule and having kids) force me to be an early bird.
What or who made the biggest influence on you wanting to become a writer?
It’s hard to narrow it down to one person because I had a lot of encouragement from family and friends but I’d have to choose Mr. Gary Sims, one of my high school English teachers. In high school, I was more like The Outsiders,
SE Hinton’s classic YA novel than Sweet Valley High or
High School Musical. Mr. Sims read one of my compositions aloud to the class, made them guess who wrote it (and no one guessed me) and proceeded to tell them it was the finest composition a student ever wrote in his class. It’s hanging on my office wall now, marked 100% A Beautifully Written…..and I dedicated one of my novels, Witness Protection Program to him although he’s now deceased.
That's it from me for today, Lee Ann. It's been great getting this opportunity to find out a little more about you!
Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy writes romance from sweet to heat, from historical to contemporary. She grew up in a blue collar neighborhood in the old river town of St. Joseph, Missouri where the past always seemed close enough to touch. Her Granny shared stories of love and life and when Grandma took her along to the beauty shop, Lee Ann learned more than any child should about romance! As soon as she could, she did her own field research into the subject.
Her romance novels for Rebel Ink Press include Love Never Fails, Witness Protection Program, Sing We Now of Christmas, A Patient Heart, In Love’s Own Time, Miss Good Samaritan, In The Shadow of War, Guy’s Angel, Heart of the Ozarks, and Dustbowl Dreams, available now or coming soon. She has numerous other writing credits in fiction, non-fiction, and other media.
Lee Ann is a member of Romance Writers of America, Missouri Writers Guild, and the Ozark Writers League. She earned a degree in both Communication Arts and History from Missouri Southern State University as well as a degree from Crowder College. She spent a decade working in broadcast media and interviewed everyone from pro-league baseball players to country music icons and politicians. In recent years she worked for the local school district. She is an active member of the local library board of directors and participates in a variety of community events and affairs.
She now lives in a small Missouri town in what passes for the suburbs. Her husband, Roy, and her three children share her life along with her adorable Jack Russell terrier, Jackson.
Where can people connect with you online?
One Digital copy of Guy's Angel