I’m excited for the upcoming launch of Night Flight to Paris, the next Kate Rees WW2 novel, which hits shelves this March.
At my husband’s bookstore, Fotografix in San Francisco, no sale was too small, no conversation too brief, no recommendation he wouldn’t give as he made relationships with patrons. Years later, one will come up to him on the street and talk about the book he recommended. How much it meant that he took the time. I myself had a story to tell and being encouraged by so many readers and my husband’s support I knuckled down to the hard part. Writing.
Stories of the lesser known aspects of WW2 and women’s roles during it inspired me to continue Kate Rees’ next mission to Occupied France in 1942. (It can be read as a standalone, too.) I’ve been intrigued by WW2 since I was small and heard stories from my family who served. On Kate’s mission I knew she’d encounter sheiks and spies, poets and partisans. And a German intelligence (true!) plot against Hitler.
As I look ahead to the release, one memory stands out. On a cold, dank night last spring during March Madness, I drove to Book Passage, the Bay Area’s iconic bookstore, to launch the latest Aimée Leduc book, Murder at the Porte de Versailles. Thinking it would be a small gather—moi, I wished I was home watching the games. But when I arrived at the warm, well-lit store, I was heartened to see a crowd.
After the event, an older woman who’d sat in the first row, asked me to sign a book and if she could tell me about her mother who’d been in the French Résistance. Of course! We spent a long time in the bookstore talking. She told me about her mother who’d grown up in Lyon. As a young wife and mother, she’d carried food, arms, and maps in her bicycle basket to the hidden Résistants. Narrowly avoiding German patrols. The woman herself, as a young baby, had been strapped to her mother’s back while she’d been doing this. What bravery and family lore! How can I express how touched and honored I was by this experience? How humbled I was that this woman had come, thinking she’d listen to my talk and learn something from me, when in fact, it was I who had learned so much from her?
These deeply personal moments between reader and storyteller—they are why I continue to write. Today, where so much is impersonal and detached and hidden behind layers of screens, I believe that books remain a bastion for truly personal experiences.
Thank you for helping me tell these stories, and I hope you’ll enjoy Night Flight to Paris.