Prism Book Alliance would like to thank K.E. Belledonne for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: Right Here Waiting
Author: K.E. Belledonne
Publisher: Interlude Press
Genre/Sub-Genre: Historical, M/M Romance
In 1942, Ben Williams had it all – a fulfilling job, adoring friends and the love of his life, Pete Montgomery.
But World War II looms over them. When Pete follows his conscience and joins the Army Air Force as a bomber pilot, Ben must find the strength to stay behind without the love of his life, the dedication to stay true and the courage he never knew he’d need to discover his own place in the war effort. Good friends help keep him afloat, until a chance meeting on the home front brings him an unexpected ally—one who will accompany him from the stages of New York City to the hell of the European warfront in search of his love.
Written in the style of a 1940s film, Right Here Waiting pays homage to classic wartime romances from the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Realistic fantasy vs fantastic realism:
″This book is reality according to MGM″. That’s one what one of my good friends said about my book, Right Here Waiting. It’s a realistic fantasy—a story that could almost be true, but isn’t. It was written with the romantic, sentimental, charming and whimsical movies of World War II and the Golden Age of Hollywood firmly in my mind. I like to say that this story is the movie Louis B. Mayer himself would have committed to celluloid, had Louis B. Mayer and society been more accepting.
The premise could have been taken from one of the Big Studios vaults. Two people, desperately in love, are wrenched apart by WWII. They have a strong sense of duty to doing what is right and honorable, sacrificing and enduring loss while never losing sight of their devotion to one another. Faithfulness and fidelity, trust and constancy, hope and resilience—all the staples of the movies of the WWII era—are found in it.
The twist? The two people so desperately in love with each other are men.
I’ve been asked if this really is a realistic depiction of gay men in the 1940s, and I have to say that is probably closer to the exception than the rule. It is a fact that society in that era did not look favorably on homosexuals and it’s not likely that relationships like Pete and Ben’s would have been accepted with only positive support.
That being said, there’s nothing to say that couldn’t have happened as it does in the book. Men in love with each other is not a modern concept. Surely somewhere, somehow, two men figured out how they could be in love and live their lives together, if in a bit of secrecy. Surely some of the so-called swinging bachelor pads provided just enough cover and concealment for the love between two ″roommates″.
I point out, not as proof but as reference, Cary Grant and Randolph Scott. Regardless of what might have been happening behind closed doors, it is a fact that the two actors shared not one, but two, homes, traveled together, went to parties together, living together as the very epitome of ″merry bachelors″ for nearly a decade. They each married women throughout their lives, seven marriages in total. It is a fact that they remained quite close throughout their lives.
I think of Right Here Waiting as a plausible fantasy, a fabrication of the events of our past. It is sweepingly romantic, earnest and sincere—and yes, even at times a bit corny— just like the old Hollywood movies we love so much.
They scrambled up to the cockpit, two chairs side-by-side with a small space between them. Pete motioned for Ben to sit in the left side, the captain’s chair, and sat in the co-pilot’s seat. The cockpit smelled of leather seats, hot metal baking in the sun and the pungent tang of engine oil. Ben delicately ran his fingertips over the controls, his hands over the stick.
Stuck in the bezel around one gauge was a small snapshot—Ben recognized it easily. He and Bets and Pete— their arms slung around each other, sitting on a couch at a party. Pete was kissing Bets on the cheek. Bets’ head was thrown back; her mouth was wide open, obviously cackling. Ben was looking straight at the camera, his eyes bright with laughter.
“It’s the first thing on my pre-flight checklist. I put it in in my flight jacket pocket, and every time we land, it comes back out and goes right here. It’s my good luck charm,” Pete said softly. “I told them it’s the best picture I have of my sweetheart back home. It’s the only one I carry of you. It’s what reminds me that I need to come home, every time.”
About the Author:
K. E. Belledonne is a writer, editor and translator based in the French Alps. A native New-Englander, Kat spends her spare time listening to Glenn Miller records, reading history books and cheering on her beloved Red Sox.
Ms. Belledonne describes her story as “like an old friend—the book you curl up with when you’re not feeling well. You know how it goes. You know how it will end, but it just makes you feel better reading it.”
Right Here Waiting is her first novel.
Connect with the author at http://www.kebelledonne.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/KEBelledonne, on Goodreads at http://www.Goodreads.com/kebelledonne and on Twitter at @kebelledonne.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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