Steel Breeze Steel Breeze discussion

Author Q & A

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message 1: by Douglas (new)

Douglas Wynne Now that Steel Breeze is starting to reach some early readers, I thought it might be fun to start a thread for discussing the book. So I'll be checking in here to answer any questions readers may have. My only request is that spoilers be labeled as such. Thanks for reading! I'm looking forward to connecting.

Randee Baty I recently read and reviewed Steel Breeze and I must tell you how much I enjoyed it. Did something in particular spark your interest in the Japanese internment camp? I've always found that to be an interesting chapter of American history, although it is a sad one.

message 3: by Douglas (new)

Douglas Wynne Hi Randee. Thanks for chiming in!

I don't recall where I first heard about the internment camps years ago, but when I'd started thinking about writing a thriller with Japanese themes, I happened to see a George Carlin special where he mentioned them and encouraged people to look it up. I realized that many people have no idea the camps ever existed.

Once I started researching I became fascinated with Ansel Adams' beautiful, haunting black and white photos of Manzanar. Those pictures, like the camps themselves, are a bit paradoxical. They're majestic, desolate, humane and incriminating... I used them as desktop images on my computer while writing Steel Breeze, and even though the camp is minimal in the book, it did set a tone for me and I think the shadow of it looms large.

So I saw that Manzanar had many facets. The austerity was kind of Zen. The contrast between an American concentration camp and what was happening in Germany at the same time was also striking because here the prisoners were making music and playing baseball. And yet, they were innocent Americans robbed of all their property and freedom because of racist fears.

I also saw a resonance with modern reactions to wartime fear in places like Gitmo, where we are doing both better (not rounding up all Arab Americans) and far worse. What do you think? Have we learned from the internment camps or are we in danger of forgetting?

Randee Baty I think we learned a lot from them and I think they should be brought up more in American history studies. When I was homeschooling my son we discussed a lot about how much we needed to learn from these internment camps and how to make sure they never happened again. While Gitmo is definitely a concern for many, at least it only involves a small group of people who were considered enemy combatants of some kind, not American families forced to leave their homes solely on the basis of race. I really do not see that happening in America again.

message 5: by Douglas (new)

Douglas Wynne I agree, and I think it's great that you explored the topic in homeschooling.

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