Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Interview with Laura Lynn Ashworth, author of Letters to Loretta From the Radio Shack: A True WWII Teenage Love Story

Letters-to-Loretta-193x300 Title: Letters to Loretta from the Radio Shack: A True WWII Teenage Love Story
Author: Laura Lynn Ashworth
Publisher: Laura Lynn Ashworth
Pages: 239
Genre: Non-fiction Romance
Format: Paperback/E-copy

 Read the rare and recently discovered real time letters between Sal, age 19, and Loretta, age 15, during the final terrifying three years of World War II, 1943-1945. Both from the Douglas Park neighborhood in Chicago, the two adolescents discuss with humor and candor, the Navy, war, politics, hit music, life back home and their relationship. Sal nicknamed Slabby for his movie star good looks, deciphers code out of the Navy’s radio shack on a minesweeper in the Pacific. Loretta monikered Duchess for her aloofness, lives with aunts and her widowed father, while holding day jobs and enjoying an active social life with friends. Letters to Loretta from the Radio Shack lets you experience World War II, both in battle and on the home front, through the eyes of adolescents in a way that Hollywood has never portrayed.

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 Letters to Loretta from the Radio Shack is available at Amazon.
Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Laura.  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A:  Laura Lynn Ashworth is an award-winning copywriter and political cartoonist.  While helping an elderly family member with veterans administration paperwork, she ran across “the letters” and instantly knew of their rarity, freshness and historical significance.  Although she received three publishing contracts within two months of sending the letters to major publishers, Ashworth decided to publish them herself on the advice of best-selling authors.  She currently lives and works in a northwest suburb of Chicago.

Website:  http://lauralynnashworth.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007518694413
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/lauralashworth
Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/lauralashworth/great-literature-movies/

Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A: Letters to Loretta from the Radio Shack, A True WWII Teenage Love Story, is  the dramatic tale of two teens during the final climatic years of WWII.  Their story unfolds in real time from letters exchanged between 1943 and 1945.  Sal is a young radio man deciphering Morse code out of the Navy’s radio shack on a minesweeper in the Pacific.  Loretta, 15, is from his neighborhood in Chicago.  The two adolescents discuss with humor and candor, politics, their families, friends, life back home, their relationship, music and the war including Sal’s real-time descriptions of D-Day in the Pacific and the Battle of Okinawa while aboard the USS Signet minesweeper.

When I ran across these letters, I knew I had to share them with the public for their historical significance alone, but I was also taken aback about how frankly and comically these two teens discussed such serious issues of the time and what tremendous responsibilities they had to home and country at such a young age.  Their uncanny social insights, romantic love and humor in the most dire of times was fascinating to read.


Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

A. The letters were fading and quite difficult to read at times.  In addition, a lot of research needed to take place and notations made throughout the 170 letters to make sure the language being used between the two teens during  the years of 1943-1945 could be easily understood by today’s reader.


Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it?  Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it?

A:  Tracee Gleichner has a press kit that she will be happy to share with you.

Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV?  What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

A:  I have an upcoming radio interview on the Author Show scheduled to run throughout the day on January 15.  It can be heard by going to:  www.theauthorsshow.com.  Information about myself, the book and interview can be accessed by going to:    http://www.freepublicitygroup.com/release_laura_lynn_ashworth_historical_romance_jan115.html

Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/she is?  If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

A:  I do not have an agent at this time, but I do have great publicists.  I think agents and publicists both play a critical role in a writer’s success.

Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?

A:  A press release went out nationally and internationally on Veteran’s Day (November 17, 2014) announcing that Letters to Loretta from the Radio Shack, A True WWII Teenage Love Story would be available shortly at major online retailers.  It was also announced at that time that ten percent of the author’s proceeds would be donated to the USO and VFW in memory of the veterans and Hollywood entertainers who served their country during WWII and who are frequently mentioned in the book.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A:  Letters to Loretta from the Radio Shack, A True WWII Teenage Love Story, is the first in a series of books that I plan to write.  My next book is a sequel to this one and will follow the lives of the book’s two main characters, Sal and Loretta, post WWII.
 
Q: Thank you for your interview, Laura.  Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A:  Letters to Loretta from the Radio Shack, can be found at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other e-stores both nationally and internationally.  Signed copies can be purchased at the author’s website, www.lauralynnashworth.com where special pricing is available for schools, book clubs, libraries, military, veterans and bulk orders.  Ten percent of author proceeds will be donated to the USO and VFW.


Laura Lynn AshworthLaura Lynn Ashworth is an award-winning copywriter and political cartoonist. While helping an elderly family member with veterans administration paperwork, she ran across “the letters” and instantly knew of their rarity, freshness and historical significance. Although she received three publishing contracts within two months of sending the letters to major publishers, Ashworth decided to publish them herself on the advice of best-selling authors. She currently lives and works in a northwest suburb of Chicago.  www.lauralynnashworth.com, www.lauralynnashworth.com/blog

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