Wonder Boi Writes

Bywater/Ylva Blog Hop: Marianne K. Martin

Hi, Friends. Those of you who follow this blog know my most recent entry was part of the Bywater/Ylva Lesfic Blog Hop. Since then the blog hop has had some great entries.  Most recently KD Williamson talked about Wine, Women, and Beer. Today I am honored to host another stop on the hop, not for myself but for my friend and colleague Marianne K. Martin.  She is an amazing writer and a true trailblazer, and she’s here to tell you all a little bit about her forthcoming release.  I’ve heard her read from the book a time or two, and trust me, you won’t want to miss this one!

Here’s Marianne in her own words:

THE LIBERATORS

Everyone is familiar with the popular image of Rosie the Riveter with her blue uniform and distinctive red headscarf. Over the years the image by J. Howard Miller with its caption “We Can Do It” has become the symbol for rallying women into the work force, of independence and women’s rights, despite that not being its original intent. Originally, in 1943, it was an ad Westinghouse used to encourage women in their factories to work harder and to avoid union issues. But there were plenty of government ads everyday in the newspapers, magazines, and on the radio that let women know how much their government needed them. Ads that said things like “Can you use an electric mixer? If so, you can learn to operate a drill.”

Government and industry was, as Jack will tell you in my next book, The Liberators of Willow Run, “tappin’ the only well with water”. And the women answered, over two million of them going to work for the war effort in government and private sector jobs, ten thousand of them in the largest bomber plant in the world, “the arsenal of democracy” at the Willow Run Bomber Plant in Ypsilanti Michigan.

In the past couple of years there has been a tremendous effort to preserve the history and as much of the original Willow Run plant as possible by including it with the Yankee Air Museum. One of the ways the organizers drew attention to the project was to set a record by gathering the largest number of women dressed as Rosies at one time in the plant. And, for me, the most fascinating thing to come out of that effort were the interviews of a number of original Rosies who, now in their 80’s and 90’s, had travelled to take part in the events. Those interviews and documentaries were exactly what I needed. I knew right then where my next book would take place. The Liberators of Willow Run was born.

The-Liberators-MKM

I wanted to know more about those women, about the thousands of women who helped make the B-24 bombers that won the war, women who had entered the work force for the first time. I wanted to know how the war had changed their lives, and how it changed how society saw them. And more particularly I wanted to know how lesbians lived and worked under the umbrella of a war-based society. What were their loves, their risks, their fears, their joys? And what would happen to them, and thousands of other women, when the war ended? I was hooked. I had to know.

So, I listened and read and felt the empowerment that the war years had offered them. Restrictions that they had grown up with were set aside, at least temporarily, expectations expanded by necessity. They began to realize their importance and their possibilities, but it was not an easy transition. Much of society hoped for a way to refasten the latch on the lid of Pandora’s Box. It was a time when one moment the possibilities seemed endless – for freedom, independence, love – and in the next moment, the challenges seemed too great.

I hope you will let riveter Audrey Draper and waitress Ruth Evans tell you about their lives, their fears, their dreams and their loves. The Liberators of Willow Run is scheduled for release by Bywater Books in October 2016.

Now, I’d like to introduce you to the talented Paula Martinac, the author of Chicken, Home Movies, the Lambda Literary Award-winner Out of Time, and three non-fiction books on lesbian and gay culture and politics. Her next book, The Ada Decades, will be published by Bywater Books in February 2017.

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February 18, 2016 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. Just read Tangled Roots and Under the Witness Tree. This sounds like another great read!

    Comment by Ann | February 18, 2016 | Reply

  2. This looks like an amazing read. I look forward to its release!

    Comment by Linda | February 20, 2016 | Reply


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