Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Face-Lift 415

Guess the Plot

First Flight

1. When the Wright brothers are kidnapped by the Zeppelin Cartel on the eve of their historic flight at Kitty Hawk, Secret Agent Aloysius Ryder must rescue them using only his wits and an arsenal of steam-powered gadgets.

2. Petunia Penguin thinks she's a goose. Her mother taught her the old saying, If at first you don't succeed, so vainly she tries, tries again to achieve her . . . First Flight.

3. Teenager Billy accepts the dare of his high school teammates: he dresses in a superman costume, climbs to the top of the garage, and jumps. In that fateful moment, he discovers his true heritage as the first Nephilim born in 100,000 years. Can Billy lead the fallen angels to redemption? God only knows.

4. Corbin Dooble has studied hard for his pilot's licence. But the plane he has borrowed for his first solo is not exactly what he imagined. Nor did he expect it to be equipped with heat-seeking missiles and a crew of zombies.

5. For young Luigi Limboni, the dream of flight began with a secret notebook of Leonardo da Vinci. But will his first flight also be his last when, as he plummets from the belltower of Santa Maria della Grazie, he realizes there are no wings on the contraption and it must have been a catapult after all?

6. A high school senior, driving her friends to the beach in her minivan, takes a wrong turn near the Oregon coast, and suddenly finds herself in an alternate universe where she's sent to train as a pilot to fight the Nazis, who didn't lose WWII.

Original Version

Dear Evil Editor,

Flying an ancient Bristol F.2B Fighter plane wasn’t exactly covered in Meri’s high school education. Of course, her teachers didn’t expect her to end up in an alternate version of 2007 the weekend before her senior year finals. But when she heads out on a beach trip with three of her friends, that’s just what happens – while driving her old minivan towards the Oregon coast, Meri takes the wrong exit and suddenly they’re headed for the gates of a refugee camp in Los Angeles, in a world where the Nazis didn’t lose. [Suddenly Meri is wishing she'd paid more attention in Driver's Ed when they were teaching the three-point turn.]

This alternate United States has no use for more displaced persons. They quickly send Meri and her friends to the British Independents, the only group still fighting the Third Reich. [Hard to imagine the US surrendering to the Nazis . . . Wait a minute, did this happen under Bush/Cheney?] After working on her piloting skills, Meri joins the British Independent Air Force.

[Sorry girls, there's no more room in the refugee camp.

But . . . where can we go? We have no--

Tell you what, there's an opening flying bombing missions against Nazi Germany.]

Life there is too intense to waste time worrying about her distant foster family. [Thus we shouldn't worry about mentioning them in our query.] Soon she’s deep in the world of the British Independents – sleeping in the pilots’ barracks, addicted to flying, and seeing an awful lot of a certain lieutenant. It’s a place where Meri feels completely right for the first time, a place where she has a purpose. [Why haven't we given Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan planes full of bombs? Then they'd be the right kind of role models for our teenaged daughters.]

Then saboteurs strike and Meri is left with a choice: stay and risk her life with the British Independents, or run back to the quasi-safety of the alternate United States, and abandon the cause she’s chosen and the people she loves. [Who offers this choice? How is the second option available? The means of travel between the alternate worlds is known? Does it always involve a minivan? What is it?]

"First Flight" is a 70,000 word YA adventure. I have three YA nonfiction books published: The Diabetes Game (Rewarding Health, 2006), Teen Dream Jobs (Beyond Words Publishing, 2003), and It’s Your Rite (Beyond Words Publishing, 2003). I have been interviewed on NBC’s The Today Show as well as on the national radio show Satellite Sisters.

Please let me know if you would like to see the full manuscript.



Are Meri and her friends one flight crew? Do they all pilot planes? Do they all find purpose? In short, does the book follow all of them or just Meri?

I like the query, especially if you drop the foster parents. But the tone is lighter in paragraph one than in the rest. I can't tell if it's like Clueless or if it's serious. I prefer it to be humorous; while I'm willing to buy into interdimensional travel, it's hard to swallow a Los Angeles refugee camp administrator shipping four high school girls to Europe to fly bombing raids against Nazis unless it's a comedy. If it's funny, changing the final sentence to something like:

Then Meri is offered a choice: stay and risk her life with the people she loves, or return to her world in time for graduation and the finals of American Idol.

would bring the tone back to the lightness it had in the opening. We don't need to mention the saboteurs, as we have no idea what they sabotaged or why this is crucial in Meri getting a choice. Did they blow something up, creating a temporary wormhole to the alternate world?


BuffySquirrel said...


Bristol F2.B: 123 mph
ME 109: 365 mph
Meri: toast

I love the premise--it's fascinating. Presumably the US has declared a truce with the Third Reich because of the difficulties of continuing the war without their bases in Europe? And those US refugee camps are full of displaced Europeans?

The query unfortunately doesn't convince me regarding the dynamics. Perhaps try to make it clearer how and where the British Independents (yay us!) are operating? If the V2 weapon is operational, then no airbase is safe.

It might work better if the query skipped how Meri gets from the US to the wherever, and concentrated on the details of how the sabotage affects her and so on--that seems to me to be the meat of the plot.

150 said...

Oh my gosh, please please someone write GTP #1.

writtenwyrdd said...

I thought this sounded pretty good, and I'd have wanted to see some of the story. However, I thought it was problemmatic in the mention of the foster family and the friends. The friends are never mentioned again, so omit them from that first para. I wouldn't recommend adding them in the body of the letter because it works fine as is.

I am not a fan of alternate universe books, especially those where the Nazis won; but this sounded fresh.
Good luck!

Phoenix said...

This is where things get tricky. Meri is about the right age to join the military anyway where she wouldn't have the choice of running away if things got hot. People get dishonorably discharged and have their lives ruined when they do that. So, is there a reason for setting HER story in an alternate history? Is your answer that alternate universe settings sell pretty well? (Except remember that a story where "the Nazis win" is usually one of the first things people think of when they decide to write alternate history.)

If so, then the query really needs, I think, to reflect more of the world under Nazi rule. Give the agent a reaon to believe your alternate world is richly thought out, and just how different things are. All we know from this version is that there's a refugee camp in America and undocumented teenagers can be shipped off overseas to train as fighter pilots. Not overly convincing, I'm afraid.

If the story concentrates on Meri, I'd worry that the alternate world would be glossed over in the novel the same way it is in the query, and wonder why it's set in an alt history to begin with. The questions I have from the query, assuming the story is focused on Meri, are:

1) Don't the BI's ask for some sort of commitment from Meri in exchange for teaching her to fly, housing her, and entrusting their plane with her?

2) Isn't she already risking her life flying missions and isn't there always a threat of saboteurs, so why would a strike mean she NOW has to face a choice? Or up till now is she just learning to fly and having fun and not considering what she's training for?

3) If she's still in training when the saboteurs strike and she has been a real airhead up till that point, then maybe preparing the query reader for that will make the choice of staying or going seem more plausible.

I didn't see in the query that she has a choice to return to her "real" timeline, but that she thinks she can easily return to the alternate U.S. where they've kicked her out once. Honestly, for me, the query seems pretty fluffy not only about this world, but about Meri and her motivations. I wouldn't be convinced enough by the query that you've built a believable world, and for alternate universe/history stories, that believability factor is paramount. Including a few more solid details will go a long way to assuring the reader the story will be a convincing one.

Now GTP #1 seems like a viable premise!

Nora Coon said...

Author here.

Wow, you guys have been terrific. buffysquirrel - haha. Yeah, I discovered that recently. She trains on an F2.B, but mostly flies a DeHavilland Vampire (which reached around 500+, the same speed as the ME 262, which was Germany's first jet fighter).

You all make a good point regarding The idea of Meri just being shipped off to England is a bit ridiculous. The British Independents are actually what's left of the British military, who evacuated to Canada back in 1941 (something that Churchill and the British gov't actually considered). Due to this, and the fact that Japan didn't bomb Pearl Harbor in this universe, the United States never entered the war. Hence, World War II didn't really happen in the way we'd think of it now. Germany has been deterred from heading towards North America due to its suspicion that the US may have nukes.

Thus, Meri is only flying up to Canada. Still a long trip, but...yeah. Nor is she on the trip with three other high school girls; she's traveling with her friend Lucy, her friend Will, and Will's boyfriend Christopher. Meri and Christopher are the stable, sane ones of the group.

Thanks so much for the help, everyone.

Bernita said...

Canada, eh?

Lightsmith said...

Oh my gosh, please please someone write GTP #1.

Thanks. GTP #1 was mine. If someone wants to actually write it, please go for it. (Not that my permission is even needed given that it's such a broad premise, but still...)

WouldBe said...

After working on her piloting skills...
A year or two later...

(Or are these kamikaze flights with no requirement for landing safely?)

writtenwyrdd said...

Another thought: If the action takes place in Canada, then you need to be a touch more clear about where the action takes place, as well as what the big climactic event is.

Funny, after reading every one else's comments, I can see their points; but my first reaction was that I'd have requested pages. YOu just can't tell what will work, can you?

Church Lady said...

"Meri takes the wrong exit.."

This did not happen to me today.

I took exactly the right exit where I met "R."
She was everything I thought she would be....and more.
Her warmth gave me goosebumps. The river, the food, the conversation. Oh! The conversation. Our eyes met often, and we knew.
We feasted until our appetites were satiated.
But an unmet need lingers. It's what we talked about...

Robin S. said...

Yes… What we talked about was a certain mystery man missing from our midst. We gazed out to the river, imagining what it would’ve been like, had he been, dare I admit our longing, there with us, looking out upon the warm, running river, licking chocolate sauce repeatedly off of our…spoons.

Yes, that’s it...Spoons.

Phoenix said...

Um, Church Lady, Robin ... you do know your mystery man doesn't go anywhere without his weredingo? Yep, always at the ready, I hear, that weredingo of his. Especially if you have a, er, spoon -- or two! -- handy.

Y'all have given me an idea: maybe our next writing exercise can be a first weredingo-spoon encounter (or weredingo-weredingo or spoon-spoon), where we, you know, never actually use the words 'weredingo' and 'spoon' (just so we don't get in trouble reading about weredingoes and spoons at work).

pacatrue said...

I'm so confused! Is Church Lady Takoda hitting on robin s or not?

I'm going to go found a EE Slash fan fiction site right now. Ooh, the lovely pairings. Robin / church lady; 150 / phoenix; EE / every female on the site; Severus Snape / lightsmith; BuffySquirrel / Dave agreeing on proper stylistic uses of the verb "had" -- no that's beyond my ability.

Anonymous said...

Bristol F2.B: 123 mph
ME 109: 365 mph
Meri: toast

Picky, picky. It's just fiction.

iago said...

A: ...or run back to the quasi-safety of the alternate United States, and abandon the cause she’s chosen and the people she loves.

B: Then Meri is offered a choice: stay and risk her life with the people she loves, or return to her world in time for graduation...

Not sure what's in the actual book, but these look like different choices. The way I read it in the query, the choice to return is still to the alternate USA, not the "real" one.

Robin S. said...

Hi paca and phoenix,

Not hitting on...just sharing, in a more fun way than simply sayin' sp to you guys - that we met each other for lunch today. Turns out we live in the same general area.

It was so much fun - like meeting a long lost friend.

I like y'all's ideas - weredingos licking on spoons, and strange fan fiction sites. I'm there. Just let me know where to go...

Also- I should probably weigh in on the query here- others here no more about the logistics of this type of fiction- but I really like this idea, Nora. I'd read it, from what I saw in your query.

Robin S. said...

Forgot to ask, paca- who are YOU 'teaming' with on your site?

And I remember someone here a few weeks ago saying something funny about it being unbelievable that Sirius Black didn't have a love interest. I agree. Can you fix that? Huh?

And every female on the site could weigh in on what they think EE really looks like. Now there's a talking point for ya.

Evil Editor said...

Not sure what's in the actual book, but these look like different choices.

You're right . . . Assuming the world where the Nazis didn't lose is always the alternate world. Is it possible when you're in the world where the Nazis didn't lose, the "real" world is considered alternate? The only evidence in favor of this view is that the author didn't call me on this.

If you're right, I now wonder why she can't stay in Canada, even if she doesn't fly anymore. Her friends are there. There must be civilians in alternate Canada.

Church Lady said...

Horndog, fun idea!
What EE looks like? Hmm....
Wavy black hair, 6'2", rugby body, brown eyes, fair wait! That's my personal trainer!

Let's each take a body part and describe what we think EE looks like.

Hair: brown with golden highlights.


150 said...

So, uh...phoenix...what do you think? Candles...romantic, me, and a weredingo.... Bring a spoon. *wink*

Word ver: tqovchk. Nobody can convince me that's not a real name in Russia.

Lightsmith said...

What EE looks like? Hmm....
Wavy black hair, 6'2", rugby body, brown eyes, fair skin...

That may be the fantasy, but I'm afraid this is probably closer to the reality:

Just kidding, Evil!

Phoenix said...

Ooh, 150 ... those ellipses ... how can I resist? *swoon* How about this: I'll show you my opening, you show me a dangling modifier, and we'll write one heckuva climax together. Oh, and I'll be bringing a silver spoon -- just in case your weredingo gets a little too wild *winking back*

BuffySquirrel said...

I reiterate:

"That's the test--not whether it is authentic, but whether it convinces the reader."

I bet EE has large feet :). For trampling the minions!

Robin S. said...

Nora, what about Canada as a haven?
How does that work?

Also- did you put this part in your query:"Life there is too intense to waste time worrying about her distant foster family" so that a question wouldn't be asked about why her family wasn't frantic when she didn't come home, or is there something more to this - to show why she is willing to take risks, as she has nothing to lose or miss, essentially?

And OK, lightsmith, I thought, how funny can it be- your link- then I checked. It's hysterical. But you're messing up our fantasies, there, Bucky.

Anonymous said...

I reiterate:

"That's the test--not whether it is authentic, but whether it convinces the reader."

But the readers who didn't know any different were convinced. It's only when you, as someone who did catch the difference, called it out that it became unconvincing. So, for some of us, it's less convincing now than it was before you made your comment, yet it's the same writing. Multiply sufficiently and you've got James Frey, who was authentic and convincing until he wasn't.

~Nancy said...

Now I know why I keep coming back here - you guys crack me up! :-)

To the query. I liked the premise of this, as I like time travel and alternate universes (what if the South had won the American Civil War, that sort of thing). I also am a huge WWII ("The Big One," as Archie Bunker used to say) buff, so I'd probably ask for more.

I think I'd lose the part about her worry about the family; seems like a toss-away sort of line, anyway. I think immersing us more into this alternate world is the big selling point.

Good luck with it - and let us know when/if it gets sold! :-)


Anonymous said...

What EE looks like?

I think he looks kind of like Christopher Walken.


Robin S. said...

Well, anon, 8:55, maybe Christopher Walken's voice. Yeah, that'd be nice.

But I think he looks like an aging Harrison Ford (yeah, I know, HF is already aging quite well on his own, like a smoky marinade) - Harrison Ford with a goatee. Definitely a goatee.

And sensitive but sparkling eyes- eyes that only a man who uses phrases as different as "potty mouth" and "thalassacoratic groupuscules" could get away with.

Yeah, he's definitely got that eye smirk thing going on.

BuffySquirrel said...

The actual contents of the Maria/Anne Frank query didn't incite any apparent concerns among those who commented, iirc; it was the author's WASPishness that was questioned once it was revealed. Nobody asked if the writer of the story with the five-times married woman had ever been married (or cursed). Comments questioned aspects of the opening that didn't seem to ring true--like the woman making her own dress.

If you cannot see the distinction between "you're not Hispanic so you need to justify writing about Hispanics" and "that plane isn't right for your story", then fair enough. As you say, most readers won't care that a Bristol F2.B has no chance against an ME109, any more than most readers of "DaVinci Code" care that albinoes have notoriously poor eyesight, or readers of "Life Class" that a character uses the word robot some six years before it was coined. Equally, if a novel rings true, most readers won't care if the author isn't of the same gender/culture/ethnic group as the characters.

Reader ignorance is handy to writers, for sure. What concerns me, however, is territoriality. 'Only Christians can write about Christians; only Hispanics can write about Hispanics'. I say again: it's fiction. It only needs to convince. That different people have different standards for being convinced is the chance you take.

(James Frey is surely a separate case; he pretended his fiction was true)

Anonymous said...


I understand your point of view and I agree with it most of the way. But I think there are instances -- and the recent query probably, in fact, isn't one of those given the author's clarifications -- when a particular set of events described by an "outsider" may need to have its authenticity examined more closely. Particularly if it's aimed at children. It depends on the message that's trying to be delivered and the bias thereon. And it's more likely to be questioned by people inside the minority group than those outside. And it's easy to say it doesn't matter when you're not affected.

We probably ain't gonna agree on this, but that's OK; we can go on reading different books.

Church Lady said...

The James Frey debacle angered me. I wanted my money back.

I meticulously fact-checked for my book, even though it's middle-grade and targeted for 10-12 year olds. Even down to a reference about sandpaper, which wasn't invented during the time my story takes place. I had to find out what artists used to sand--that took a couple of days of fact checking. Now, I am querying this as historical fiction, so my facts do have to be researched. But I expect the same from other writers. To me, this is part of the fun of writing.

small rant over, and directed at no one in particular. :-)

Harrison Ford, Christopher Walken? Which is closer, EE?

Phoenix said...

EE's hands: Sensitive enough to turn the pages of the thinnest eggshell paper without licking a finger, yet tough enough to withstand the heat as he feeds the perpetually burning manuscript pyre.

As far as fiction and authenticity, I think you only need to convince your target audience. Guys I've talked to raved about how Robert Heinlein captured the female persona so perfectly (gag). He convinced his target audience. Guys disparage how men are portrayed in romances, while women are convinced by the alpha and beta males described. The target audience is happy. We read on.

Evil Editor said...

20 years ago my pedicurist said I looked like the actor who played Barnabus Collins on Dark Shadows, but I don't know if she meant my face or my feet.

Robin S. said...

Well, Barnabas didn't have a goatee, and I think you have one, or should have one, anyway.

So I'm thinking she must've been talking about your feet.

Dave Kuzminski said...

Hmmm, so in this alternate universe, is she back in time also? If not, then you better consider the problem of over fifty years of progress in weapons, communication, and so forth. If not, then you need to consider the politics back then as Germany intended to have the US involved within a year or two anyway. They were developing a long-range bomber to attack New York and were already attacking our shipping.

So, if you're going to write it, do some research.

sylvia said...

"This alternate United States has no use for more displaced persons. They quickly send Meri and her friends to the British Independents, the only group still fighting the Third Reich."

This struck me as really bizarre. I know it's possible that people could get shipped randomly to someplace else but it's not usually that simple (for one, displaced people have often come a long way to try to make a home in the new place) -- this sounded like people were handed a plane ticket and set on their way.

In the same way, I can see that it's possible that the British Independents would simply accept any and all immigrants but it's not very common and a war-torn rebellion would probably not want the cost of taking on the unwanted immigrants of the US. Knowing that it is Canada we are talking about makes it seem even more unlikely.

Author said...

Dear Evil Editor,

Repairing a Gloster Javelin fighter plane wasn’t exactly covered in Meri’s high school education. Of course, her teachers didn’t expect her to end up nearly fifty years back in time, in an alternate version of 1961. But when she heads out on a beach trip the weekend after graduation with two of her friends, that’s just what happens. While driving her old minivan towards the Oregon coast, Meri finds herself headed for the gates of a refugee camp in California, in a world where Britain evacuated rather than fight the Nazis and the U.S. never entered World War II.

This alternate United States has no use for more refugees. Claiming that Meri and her friends may have useful information, the government ships them to the British Independents, the descendants of British evacuees and the only group still fighting the Third Reich. Continuing on her former career path, Meri joins the British Independent Air Force. Soon she’s deep in the world of the British Independents – sleeping in the barracks, trying to survive basic training, and seeing an awful lot of a certain British flight lieutenant. It’s a place where Meri feels completely right for the first time, a place where she has a purpose.

As the British Independents prepare for an offensive, tensions rise; isolationist forces in Canada and the United States want an end to the conflict, and the American Nazi Party has been recruiting heavily. Then a sabotage attack kills Meri’s best friend along with much of the offensive force, and leaves the British Independents in turmoil. As they try to rebuild their strike team, Meri must face the path she’s chosen – a path that leads directly to war.

Kinesthesia is a 60,000-word YA alt-history novel. I have three YA nonfiction books published: The Diabetes Game (Rewarding Health, 2006), Teen Dream Jobs (Beyond Words Publishing, 2003), and It’s Your Rite (Beyond Words Publishing, 2003). I have been interviewed on NBC’s The Today Show as well as on the National Public Radio show Satellite Sisters.

Please let me know if you would like to see the full manuscript.


Title note: Kinesthesia is "the sensing of changes in direction or speed of motion" (FAA Airplane Flying Handbook)

writtenwyrdd said...

I'd get a different title, because ones that are difficult to pronounce tend to be off-putting. But that's just me.

I'd also drop the explanation of what kinesthesia is from the query. I know what it is, and I suspect most educated folks do, too.

As far as the query goes, may I suggest you give us something exciting about the novel, something with an emotional hook? Because this is very dry, and very lengthy, and very much backstory.

Anonymous said...

the logic of giving your book a single word title, when the word is specialized medical/physiology jargon and your intended audience is junior high kids, escapes me. the title is supposed to be a marketing tool, a little call from the book that says 'hey kids, read me! i'm the book for you!'. if it accidentally says 'i'm incomprehensible! i'm all about a weird disease!' that's probably not so good.

as for the plot, yawn. i guess fictionally trouncing nazis yet again just bores me to death. modern evil has myriad incarnations. if you're going this far from reality, why not invent your own evil horde with modern relevance instead of trotting out the same old bad guys? 90% of the plot seems to be an elaborate setup designed to put your protagonist in the pilot's seat as a girl bomber who off to kill some people who have been dehumanized by the nazi label. that war is just so over. much more interesting to grapple with a real issue modern youth are challenged by and try to explain why a nice jewish girl wants to fly off and fire-bomb the united nations HG and hospital in gaza.

batgirl said...

Just a thought - maybe skip the whole Oregon/California/minivan bit in the query and just hit 'modern teenager lands in alt-hist Canada, fighting the Axis with the British Resistance.'
In fact, I'd suggest skipping her being shipped out of the US, and start the query in Canada (because there should be more sf/f set in Canada).

The mechanics don't matter, it's a portal fantasy, and portals are a plot device. I think you're wasting that space (does your portal have Corinthian or Doric pillars?). The important thing is what does Meri do, not how did she get there.
That's my thought, anyways.

Phoenix said...

A couple of things left me scratching my head a bit:

In P2, Meri is continuing on her former career path, yet your lead sentence in P1 indicates repairing fighter planes wasn't in her hs education. I'm not sure what her career path was (flying, the military?), so I don't understand how these thoughts work together. Not sure the plane repair is a strong lead in -- there are lots of occupations that hs doesn't particularly prepare you for. And mentioning high school when the story's about a graduate (even a recent one) may set up a wrong expectation about audience.

I'm also not clear on the progression of events in P3. Sounds like the BIs have taken a huge hit and most people are either opting for isolation or assimilation, so I'm not sure where the indication of an upturn in the war is coming from. If it were clear from the events you choose to describe in the query that the war is escalating, that's one thing; but the events described sound to me like a cooling off instead.

So, overall, I'm a bit confused by the story as described in this version.

I'm also not a fan of the new title. And I like Batgirl's suggestion to maybe try starting the query after she's arrived in the alt universe.

_*Rachel*_ said...

Where are the British Independents? I mean, did everybody in Britain just up and move to Canada? That's a bit confusing, not to mention implausible. Also, are Meri's friends in training, too?

The ending's a bit vague; flesh it out a bit. Just something more like "Meri's got to take out the leader of the 3rd Reich alone, now." Do they ever get back?

All in all, I think I like this one better than your old. You've done a lot of editing, haven't you? Cut 1/7 of your novel, changed the date; my guess is that this version is likely better.

150 said...

I find myself asking two questions:

1) How does enormous America not have room for the UK?

2) How are women getting to fly planes without the effects of wartime manufacturing conditions on gender roles?

Your creds are great so I assume you have answers, but I should be worried about Meri's life and world freedom, not wondering whether your alt-history is well thought out.

Must Meri be a time-traveler? Could this work with a protagonist fixed in time?

BuffySquirrel said...

I wonder what alternate universe 150 lives in.

Hello? hello? Women flew planes during WWII, thank you very much.

talpianna said...

Buffy, women FERRIED planes in WW2--they didn't fly combat missions.

I agree that the title is lousy: not only is it an obscure word, but it has a more common meaning than the aeronautical one.

BuffySquirrel said...

Tal, dear, 150 was denying they flew planes AT ALL.

Also, one of Germany's star test pilots--if not THE star test pilot--was a woman.

Nora Coon said...

Hi all, author here--
Thanks for the second round of feedback. I appreciate all of your suggestions. I must confess I had no idea that kinesthesia had another meaning - I will try to find another title.

As for the did-women-fly-planes discussion, try a quick google of Lydia Litvyak, Soviet fighter pilot and one of the only two female fighter aces (Soviet women pilots were pretty badass during WWII). However, it is true that in the US and UK, women were barred from flying combat.

Evil Editor said...

Whether women flew planes in WWII would seem irrelevant, as this book is set in 1961.

150 said...

Ah, the consequences of not putting "into combat" where you meant to. That'll teach me to post at work.

*is posting at work right now*

*doesn't learn quick*

BuffySquirrel said...


batgirl said...

Well, if the politics are similar to the historic politics, with the US playing nicey-nice with the Axis, America taking UK refugees in would upset things.

FWIW, I live near a former military college, Royal Roads, (Hatley Park historic site, Victoria BC, Canada) which was prepped to shelter the British royal family if the Germans crossed the Channel.

But again, this is backstory - skip as much of it as you can, to avoid the awkward questions. "Meri is trapped in an alternate world where WWII continues, and the embattled British Independents strike at the Axis from their precarious haven in Canada." Or something.

BuffySquirrel said...

The Brits running to Canada, New Zealand, Australia, or indeed any of the Commonwealth countries makes more sense than depending on the USA.