New book features 10 stories of EK veterans
Ten stories about East Kootenay Second World War veterans are told in a new collection of 28 compelling interviews by bestselling author Elinor Florence of Invermere.
This career journalist, former owner of the Columbia Valley Pioneer, writes a regular monthly column for e-KNOW on the topic of Canadians during wartime. Many of her veteran interviews have been published by e-KNOW. Type in a name (from list below) in our search mode and hit enter.
– Bud Abbott of Cranbrook, former navy pilot;
– Joy Bond and Audrey Osterloh of Invermere, members of the local women’s militia;
– Leo Richer of Windermere, former Lancaster pilot;
– Ed Kluczny of Invermere, former Lancaster pilot;
– Nancy Tegart of Invermere, member of the RCAF Women’s Division;
– Lou Marr of Windermere, member of the RCAF women’s Division;
– Arthur Bradford of Invermere, who flew a Spitfire in England;
– James Ashworth of Invermere, who flew a Hurricane over Burma;
– Casey Scheffer of Invermere, whose family hid a Jewish couple from the Nazis in his hometown in Holland.
Sadly, all but two of these local veterans – Jim Ashworth and Joy Bond of Invermere — have since passed away.
Elinor began interviewing veterans about 10 years ago during the research for her wartime novel, Bird’s Eye View, about a farm girl from Saskatchewan who joins the Royal Canadian Air Force and becomes an interpreter of aerial photographs. The novel, published by Dundurn Press in 2014, was listed as a national bestseller by both The Globe & Mail, and The Toronto Star.
“Because I had so much wonderful material from veterans, many of whom had never told their stories before, I decided to create an anthology,” Elinor said. “Although most of my subjects are Canadian, the collection includes stories from one Dutch and two British post-war immigrants to Canada; two Americans; two Germans; and one Australian.”
The author said she decided to create a print version for people who still prefer to read books, and because some of her older readers don’t own a computer.
“After hashing over many possible titles, I finally decided to call it My Favourite Veterans because that’s what it is: a collection of my favourite stories about my favourite people.”
The author self-published her book, meaning that she paid to have it designed and printed herself, because she didn’t want to incur the long delay involved in finding a traditional publisher. “Thirteen of my veterans are still living and I wanted them to have the book in their hands as soon as possible,” she said.
The book is larger than an average paperback, measuring seven by 10 inches. It has 256 pages, with more than 100 photographs. It has large, easy-to-read text.
You may purchase the book, priced at $34.99, in two ways:
1. Order a signed copy directly from Elinor by calling her at 250-342-1621 or emailing [email protected]. She will accept a cheque or take your credit card number over the phone.
2. Purchase online from Amazon.
Elinor’s bestselling wartime novel Bird’s Eye View is available at both Lotus Books and Coles in Cranbrook, or through any bookstore. You may also order it online from Amazon as a paperback or an ebook.
For more information, visit Elinor’s website at www.elinorflorence.com.