Welcome to Books By My Friends, Diana! Let’s dive into the details of your book The Dangerous Summer of Jesse Turner.
JH: What’s the blurb for your book?
DR: Spring, 1898. Teddy Roosevelt organizes a volunteer cavalry regiment, the Rough Riders, to fight the Spanish in Cuba. Three young volunteers join Roosevelt but face an unexpected enemy while fighting the bloody battles of the Spanish-American War. Publishers Weekly called this novel “a vivid historical outing.”
JH: What inspired you to write The Dangerous Summer of Jesse Turner?
DR: I like writing action stories for boys. The Spanish-American War of 1898 is one of the forgotten events in our history. However, the short war resulted in freeing Cuba from Spanish control, and the details of the campaign are compelling. The war also brought together a diverse volunteer army under Lt. Colonel Teddy Roosevelt. My three young volunteers, Jesse from Missouri, Will from New York, and Ben, a Comanche from the Indian Territories, share the hazards of a military force unprepared for war and the reality of deadly combat.
JH: What one thing do you love most about writing?
DR: I write historical fiction, so I love discovering bits of history that no one has focused on before. Then I have the fun of putting characters into these situations and seeing how they manage. Everyone knows about movies in Hollywood, but Chicago had a thriving early movie industry in early 1900s, and I used that history for Chicago Movie Girls.
JH: What’s next for you in the way of writing/publishing?
DR: I’m currently working on a World War 1 story about a group of entertainers visiting the American soldiers in France in 1918. I was able to find a few memoirs from entertainers to help build the story. The USO is a WW2 organization, so WW1 had much less organization for such entertainment.
JH: How can readers contact you?
Diana Reep (D. C. Reep) has been a writer since she invented horror stories for classmates in elementary school. As an English professor at The University of Akron, she taught technical writing, film studies, popular culture, and the Arthurian legend while publishing textbooks and literary biographies. No longer grading papers, she’s writing historical fiction for YA and adult readers focused on events around the beginning of the 20th century, e.g., Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders in the Spanish-American War, World War 1 military action, and the early movie business in Chicago. Publishers Weekly has called her historical fiction “vivid,” “fast-moving,” and “entertaining.”
JH: Thanks for visiting, Diana. This book sounds like a great idea for a gift for young adult readers and anyone interested in American history. Your future project sounds like I need to be on the email-Joy-when-the-book-is-available-list because I love the sound of it. Come back soon, Diana!
All good things,
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