When I first made the decision to try my hand at historical fiction I knew there would be a lot of research involved. But since I find WWII fascinating I imagined this would not be such a big issue for me. And it wasn’t. I enjoy hunting through history to find little tidbits that I can put in my fiction.
That being said, I recognize that the opening chapters of Persona require the reader to suspend disbelief in a major way. While the SS Ceramic was a real ship that was sunk by a German U-Boat in December 1942, Megan Shepherd is a fake creation and her survival of said sinking is absolutely made up.
That isn’t so much where the suspension of disbelief comes in, though. It’s when she’s picked up by the enemy and said enemy doesn’t immediately ship her off to a work camp somewhere that I know I’m walking a very, very tight line.
There’s a part of me that keeps suggesting I scrap the first few chapters and have Megan already in Germany when war breaks out. That would take care of the belief problem. She was in Germany, the war began. Borders closed. She was stuck.
But when push comes to shove, this book isn’t really about WWII. It’s about one woman having to decide who she is. WWII is just the vehicle by which she arrives at her decision making point and what better way to start her on that journey than by making the war very vivid and very real right up front?
Historians and such might murder me for it, just like scientists would likely enjoy stringing me up for the space travel I created in Tapped and Deviation, but this is just one of those places where my instincts are telling me I need to bend the rules a bit.