Monday, 19 September 2011
Author Spotlight - Q&A with May Williams
STEPH: I don't know much about "Landed by a Flyboy." What's it about?
MAY: Flyboy is the story of Bertie Stevens who runs a little summer resort in Cape May, NJ during WWII. Her brother has been MIA in the war in Europe, and she’s struggling with the bank who is threatening to foreclose on her property. Captain Greg Marsh, an injured Naval Pilot, comes to quarter at her resort and romantic sparks soon fly.
STEPH: Where did you find the inspiration for the story?
MAY: A few summers ago, we took a family vacation to Cape May. It was my first time on the Jersey Shore and I was amazed at how beautiful it was. My husband and I are both history buffs so we took a look at the remains of WWII in the Cape May area. There’s an old bunker on the beach, two watch towers (one of them inside a hotel), and an airbase (now occupied by the Coast Guard).
STEPH: How long did it take you to write?
MAY: I wrote the original story in about a month, but it bears no resemblance to what Flyboy is now. That happened over a period of two years and a ton of revisions.
STEPH: How important is setting to the novel?
MAY: Setting is key. I’ve always been fascinated by WWII on the home front. The way people came together and helped each other is a wonderful lesson for us today. Toss that in with the beauty of Cape May and a handsome flyboy and romance was bound to happen.
STEPH: Did you do a lot of research for it?
MAY: I did some research into the history of Cape May and the military activity that took place there during WWII. Because of its location at the mouth of the Delaware Bay, Cape May was pivotal in forming a defense for the mid-Atlantic region.
STEPH: Hollywood just told you they want to make a movie of your novel. Cast the leads!
MAY: Yikes. I’m terrible at contemporary Hollywood. I’m better at vintage films. I think Betty Grable and Rory Calhoun as they appear in How to Marry a Millionaire would be my idea of the perfect cast.
STEPH: What do you want people to take away from the novel?
MAY: I love a novel that I can escape into and I wrote Flyboy with that in mind. I want readers to be entertained and enjoy the story.
STEPH: Are you a plotter or a panster?
MAY: I’m a plotter or at least I try to be. I do think about all the chapters in advance, but frequently wander off the plot chart into new territory.
STEPH: What's your writing space like?
MAY: Flyboy was written during the summer months when I’m stealing moments in between entertaining my kids. Really I write anywhere in or around the house. I do have a little office, but I’m just as often at the dining room table. When the weather is nice, I take my laptop to the front porch. I live directly across the street from a police station and fire station. I like the constant hum of activity.
STEPH: Tell us a little about the state you live in.
MAY: I live in northern Ohio very near Lake Erie. Summers are beautiful, and we have so much to do. There are islands in the lake to visit and the world famous Cedar Point Amusement Park is about a 20 minute drive. Still, my favorite season is fall. The lake keeps us warm through the end of October extending the season. Unfortunately, in the spring, the lake has the opposite effect and we freeze into April. And don’t even ask me about lake effect snow. I can’t think about that yet.
Contact and Buy links:
May Williams on Facebook