I’m very pleased to welcome Kate Lord Brown, author of The Beauty Chorus, to Peeking Between the Pages today as part of her blog tour. I am very anxious to get to read The Beauty Chorus and hope to fit it in the schedule come early June. It’s centered around a time in history that I love to read about and that’s World War II. Check later on in the post for a description of the book. In the meantime, Kate has taken some time to write all of us a guest post entitled Inspiration…
‘Where do stories come from?’ is a really interesting question. What sparks that ‘lightbulb moment’ when the hairs stand up on the back of your neck, and you think ‘wow … that would make a great story.’ For me, I was doing the recycling and flicking through one of my pilot husband’s flying magazines. I came across a tiny obituary for one of the amazing women who had flown Spitfires during WW2. That inspired the whole story – I just had to know more about these incredible women, and months of research in museums and archives followed.
The Air Transport Auxiliary was a civilian outfit, and pilots flocked to join from 28 nations, including Canada. They took experienced pilots who were unable to fly in combat – this meant you had one-eyed one-armed veterans flying, and you had women. In all, 166 girls flew everything from Spitfires to huge bombers, ferrying them to the fighter stations across war-torn Britain. Theirs was one of the most dangerous jobs of the war – they flew without arms or radios, but few people know about them now. I’m hoping ‘The Beauty Chorus’ will introduce them to a new audience.
I think as a writer you can definitely ‘tune in’, make yourself receptive to ideas and inspiration. Elizabeth Gilbert gave an interesting TED lecture a while ago about being open to ideas – she ascribed to the idea that writers are a conduit for stories, that they come to them fully formed, and you just have to be receptive. I’m not sure if it’s just a case of waiting for the Muse to strike, or as Jack London said ‘going after the story with a club’. Maybe Woody Allen had the best advice – when he was asked the secret of success, he said ‘turn up’. That’s the single best advice for a writer certainly – turn up every day at your desk and write. I have a file of ideas and inspiration for all the stories to come, just like that tiny clipping about a woman who had flown Spitfires, but without the real work of research and crafting a compelling story, they will remain just that – ideas, rather than a novel like ‘The Beauty Chorus’ that I hope will inspire a lot of people who – like me – had no notion that young, beautiful women did this amazing thing.
Thank you so much for this great guest post Kate! You’ve certainly sparked my interest in the women who had flown the Spitfires in WWII. I can’t wait to sit down with your novel and lose myself in their world for a while.
About the Book
Romance, glamour and adventure in the skies: an enthralling debut inspired by female pilots in World War Two. 166 women signed up to fly Spitfires and bombers from factories to airfields across the country. It was an adventure that would cost many their lives.
New Year’s Eve 1940: Evie Chase, the beautiful debutante daughter of an RAF commander, listens wistfully to the swing music drifting out from the ballroom. With bombs falling nightly in London, she is determined to make a difference to the war effort. Evie joins the ATA – the civilian pilots who ferry fighter planes to bases across war-torn Britain. Two other women wait nervously to join up with her – Stella Grainger, a forlorn young mother from Singapore, and Megan Jones, an idealistic teenager who has never left her Welsh village before. Billeted together in a tiny cottage, Stella, Megan and Evie learn to live and work together as they find romance, confront loss and forge friendships that last a lifetime.
‘The Beauty Chorus’ is published by McArthur and Company
Check out other tour stops on the Blog Tour for The Beauty Chorus by Kate Lord Brown
About the Author
Kate studied Philosophy at Durham University, and Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art. She is currently taking a Masters degree. She worked as an art consultant, curating collections for palaces and embassies in Europe and the Middle East, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She was a finalist in UK ITV’s the People’s Author competition in 2009. Her debut novel ‘The Beauty Chorus’ is published by Atlantic in 2011.
I have one copy of The Beauty Chorus by Kate Lord Brown to share with my readers. To enter…
- For 1 entry leave me a comment with an email address to contact you in the event that you are the winner.
- For 2 entries, follow my blog. If you already do, thank you, and please let me know in your comment so I can pass on the extra entry to you as well.
- For 3 entries, blog or tweet about giveaway to spread the word!
This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only (no PO boxes) and I will draw for the winner on Saturday, June 4/11. Good luck everyone!
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