Peggy, Audrey, Dorothy, and Maisy; Four young ladies, four young friends studying Physics at University get recruited to join the Special Signal Services to serve their country as Radar Operators. At twenty years old they embark on exciting, sad and nervous times during World War II. They fall in love, they dance, they get challenged in many ways, but mostly they are bonded together by a tight camaraderie with the other officers serving at the Silversands and Hangklip Radar Stations.
Follow the camaraderie of these four ladies through their days of love, friendship and the challenges of service during World War II in ‘Radar Love’. Here with me today to read the signals on the radar screen is author Aileen Friedman. Aileen, thanks for chatting about the camaraderie of these young women today. What drew you to follow a love story set in World War II?
I’ve always been intrigued with WWII and the love stories from that era. I wanted to write a story outside of the medical or air force field. A friend sent me an article about a woman that served in the Special Signal Services in South Africa and that was all I needed to get me going.
I can’t say that I’m well-versed in the area of work that the Special Signal Services was covering during this time. Was this a service that you were aware of, or did you find that you needed to find more facts?
Oh yes. I spent over a year researching. The SSS was a highly guarded secret (as I’ve written in the preface) and so there was not much available on the Internet. A wonderful veteran phoned me on hearing that I was doing this research and suggested a few books that covered the subject. To him, I am very grateful.
What a wonderfully generous veteran! And this information would have given you a more concrete view of the time and what was going on. Were there any contemporary events from your life that you found that you could place back in time without it feeling false?
Experiences of loss and heartache, of friendships lasting a lifetime – yes I think so.
Friendship is central to this book. How did these the friendships, and the characters behind them evolve as you worked?
I researched the names first and then build their characters around that.
When you were mixing these events together with the characters that had formed, did you find that one of these two significantly influenced the other?
A mixture of both.
What did you love most about writing in this wonderful mix of contemporary and past events, friendships and love?
Keeping the era – the music, movies, fashion, fauna and flora and even the way the characters spoke – true to the 40’s.
Do you feel that there was a message that transcended time that you really hope that readers pick up on while they are enjoying ‘Radar Love’?
We have so many questions about why there is so much heartache and evil in the world. We will never have the answers but we can trust God to get us through our sufferings.
Were there any pains or things that you did learn or try to find answers for?
I am arachnophobia – to try overcome my fear I wrote an episode with one – I don’t think it worked.
That’s a shame. Perhaps you can squelch the fear of scary spiders in your next work. Is that currently on the cards, or do you have another path to follow first?
My seventh novel ‘My Heart and You’ (still early stages) To finalise the illustrations of my second children’s book ‘Jamie’s Discoveries’
Those are two very different tangents your upcoming writing projects have taken. What do you love most about writing that goes beyond the individual writing pathways?
That hopefully the ready will enjoy the story and that they will be inspired.
Are you in the habit of writing down new inspirations for yourself for each new story?
Yes, I do. My idea book is getting rather thick at the moment.
Once you’ve scoured your writing notes for a new story, what is the first point of call when you’re embarking on a new writing adventure? Do you map out the adventure with an outline and plan when you’ll hit the end, or does it unfold as time goes on?
Sadly I am a lazy writer. I write when I feel like it and for how long I feel creative. The ocean is a terrible distraction.
On days when you try and work past that distraction, what do you do to get yourself unstuck?
I write a possible ending and then work backwards.
I really like that idea of working backwards, it does seem to automatically kick that brain back into action. When you’ve moved your brain into gear, do you ever drive it towards editing, or is editing something that you prefer for a third party to undertake?
I reread the book a thousand times and send it to friends to read before actually giving it to someone to edit.
While your work is out entertaining your friends, do you turn your attention towards how each work will fit in with your author brand?
No, not really, it is food for thought though.
Okay, so the author brand hasn’t been central to your self-publishing journey. What have you found instead that has been important to remind yourself about as your self-publishing path as unfolded?
Write because you want to not because you want to be a best seller. It’s less of a disappointment.
Are you spending much of your time writing at this point in time?
Semi retired. I do have ample time to write, but like I said I’m a lazy writer – terrible I know.
No, it’s not terrible at all if you have many other activities that you love to do alongside your writing. I’m sure that there are so many other interesting paths that you’d love to try. What else do you think would be awesome to try?
I’ve written a screenplay of my first novel Changes From a Sunset. I’d like to be a part of it becoming a movie.
Now, that would be so much fun! I think it sounds like a great candidate for one of your upcoming projects, of course after you make more headway on ‘My Heart and You’ and ‘Jamie’s Discoveries’. But, before you return to your word processor, let’s have a little fun and discover the personality behind the pen with our quick fire question round. And today the fun will begin with do you have any philosophies that you live by?
Treat others, as you would have them treat you
It is so simple, but it works so well! Is there one great quote that sums this up, or compliments this belief for you?
‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ Phil 3:14
Who decides what morality is?
What is your zodiac sign?
Where is the line between insanity and creativity?
Insanity is only seen by the one who is insane, creativity can be seen by all.
What came first, the chicken or the egg?
If they made a movie from your book who would you choose to play the main characters?
If Kate Beckingsale could speak with a South African accent then she would be perfect for Peggy. For Harvey – a Clark Gable lookalike.
I’m sure she’d be able to get the right coaching to get her accent perfected for the shoot. If you invented a monster what would it look like and what would you call it?
It will have eight legs!
It sounds like you’re planning to scare the world with a monster spider! And I’m sure it will work well! For working well, do you use your left or right hand?
What is your favourite song or music to work by?
Claire de Lune – Debussey
That’s just such a wonderful piece and is beautiful on the stage. Staying on the stage, if all of the world is a stage, where does the audience sit?
In the ocean -it’s so peaceful there
It really is so peaceful there. How are the colours in rainbows made?
What is your favourite Jellybean flavour/ colour?
What is your favourite word?
What is your favourite line, quote or statement from your book?
“Perfect song, for a perfect woman,” Harvey whispered in Peggy’s ear. Peggy moved an inch to look at him, their faces almost touching; she said nothing, her eyes expressed her appreciation.
Aileen, thanks for showing us these little glimpses of perfection that have appeared on our radar as we’ve chatted about ‘Radar Love’ today, and I wish you the best of luck working towards bringing your two new writing projects to your readers.
Excited to read the book we discussed today? Find it here on Amazon: ‘Radar Love ( ASIN: B06XFRT8VK )‘.
Want to find out more about Aileen? Connect here!Aileen Friedman