Love of family, automobiles, and history sum up J.E. Pendleton and his writing. Being an auto racing fan myself, I relate to the dreams of individuals pursuing the sport. J.E. and his wife attended the Lexicon conference in Denton, Texas earlier this year where a number of writers brought wisdom and novels about the history surrounding World War II. Please welcome J.E. Pendleton.
Let’s start off with a personal question. Do you and Nancy often fuss at each other over the time you spend writing?
First Bill, let me thank you for featuring me in your blog. It is not often that a very successful author like you features a newbie like me. No, Nancy has never been upset over the time I spend writing. In fact, I write in longhand using a fountain pen and spiral notebooks. Nancy then does all the work to interpret my hen scratching and types up the manuscripts.
How did you come up with the title, The Special?
The Special is the name of the car that is built in the novel.
Your main character, Billy Pendleton, heads to California just prior to the start of World War II. I’m figuring this is a fictionalized Pendleton family story, yes?
This book is fictionalized as are all novels, however my uncle, Billy Pendleton, did indeed hitch-hike to California before WWII just as described in the book.
How does Billy find the funds to make an attempt at building a speed-record breaking car?
The car was built from cast off pieces. The frame came from a wrecking yard for $5.00. The running gear from a donated burned Ford pickup. The engine was originally built for an Indy 500 car, but never used as it wasn’t finished in time. In other words, very little out of pocket money was required to build the car.
Back in those days, a woman associated with racing was a rarity. Tell us about Billy’s love interest.
She was Sally Anthony. Prior to meeting Billy she was surrounded by friends and family that were involved in different aspects of the car business including racing. Once she met Billy, I think mutual attraction took over and working on the car was a good way to spend time with the man in her life.
So far there’s speed for the male readers and romance for the female readers, how does World War II affect the characters’ lives?
WWII was the most significant event of the 20th Century in my opinion. It affected every person on the planet in some way and still affects our lives today. It was no different for our characters. Millions of people were killed, both those in the military on all sides and civilians alike. Our characters experience that loss and deal with the grief. That is a major part of the story.
J.E., what life experiences influenced you to pursue a writing career?
When I was in the third grade, I read my first book, it was about Charles Lindburgh and it changed my life. The book captured me and I felt I was in the tiny cramped cockpit with him as he flew the Atlantic. I had secretly wanted to write a book for decades when I started thinking about the story of The Special. The more I thought about it, the more the story became alive in my head. The characters told me the story, I had to write it in self-defense to keep my sanity.
I understand you’re working on a series based on the events of World War II. Will these be historical short stories?
Yes, Bill, I am working on a series of historical novels, not short stories, about some of the events that led to WWII. Most Americans believe the war started with Pearl Harbor, others believe it started in 1939 when Hitler invaded Poland. I think it began in 1931 in China when Japan invaded Manchuria. My story starts in China in 1933. I hope to continue it through WWII and tell a story not many people know.
What’s next for J.E. Pendleton?
I am actively writing the first book in the series right now. I am about three hundred pages into the manuscript. I am also doing research on the period and have read approximately fifty books on the subject. Needless to say it is an engrossing story and I hope I am able to convey that to my readers through the lives of my characters.
Thanks for sharing with us, J.E.
You’re welcome, Bill and thank you again for thinking of me. It has been a pleasure.
To buy J.E.’s novel, click on the following link:
To buy my books, click on the following link: