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Inspiration for Beyond the Horizon

I’m so thrilled that BEYOND THE HORIZON is releasing tomorrow, and it’s lovely to be able to share this special publication week with you. The book is inspired, of course, by the incredible Women Air Force Service Pilots, and also by my mother’s story. She joined the Women’s Australian Auxiliary Airforce when the Second World War broke out.
My mother had just finished school, and was about to start studying at university when the war erupted. She had topped both Ancient and Modern History in the state- something we only found out after she had passed away, as she was very private about such things- but she had to put her studying plans on hold, as so many others did. She dropped everything and went to live on an Air Force Pilots’ training base for the duration of the war.
My mother never talked much about the war, and neither did my father, and he was an R.A.A.F pilot flying over occupied France, so writing this book was one way of finding out more about what that time might have been like for my mum, for her dear friends, and also, a little for my dad.
I do know that the camaraderie that my mother experienced with the other young women on that Air Force base in South Australia led to lifelong friendships, and I was always so intrigued how friendship between women seemed to blossom during such a terrible time in human history.
From everything I have read and researched, it is clear that friendship was enormously important. It was something that got women through that war.
Beyond the Horizon is my tribute to the WASP- to those women who gave up, often, the promise of ever having a career outside the home, as once the war was done, so many of them got married and had children and did not get the chance to go back and do their university degrees.
By coming together often with no recognition for what they did, women contributed too. I’ve shared a photo of my mother in her W.A.A.A.F uniform, that I only found recently tucked away in a box…
I’m looking forward to sharing more about the book, and my writing with you this week.
You can also find me posting in the lovely American Historical Novel group here: on Facebook all week, where I will be giving away a copy of the book!
xx Ella

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