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Update on my edits to the sequel to ‘Sisters At War’ called ‘Sisters of the Resistance’ by Jina Bacarr

June 11, 2024 by in category historical, Jina’s Book Chat, Paris, sexual assault, sexual violence, World War 2, Writing tagged as , , , , , , ,

 

@jinabacarrauthor

I finished all my edits for Sisters of the Resistance the sequel to Sisters At War coming September 29th #historicalbooklover #booktok @Boldwood Books @Ulverscroft

♬ original sound – Jina Bacarr Historical Author♥

Ah, yes, the notes to Sisters of the Resistance I wrote about last month — I swear I didn’t sleep for a week getting everything in place — fleshing out some scenes, etc, but I did it. And I slept for a week… well, not really, but it felt like it.

And what’s really wild is that I’ve been dreaming the ending over and over again! I was so pleased (and so is my editor) with how the story of the Beaufort Sisters wraps up, I can’t let it go. Much like that trip I remember to Disneyland for Grad Nite (remember those?) where you can’t get off the Teacup Ride. You just keep spinning round and round…

So, what is the next step?

Copy edits.

This is where your copy editor goes through your story and finds all the little things you missed and asks you questions to make sure you’ve got it right. This is especially important in writing historicals. It’s got to be accurate. (e.g. when were Jewish people forced to wear the Yellow Star in Paris? Why were people sent to Drancy Prison? Did the Nazis ever send deportees to Poland by regular train and not cattle car?)

The trick is, to add just enough ‘spice’ to the story without taking away the flavor (remember the running thread in “Meet Me in St. Louis’ where the Smith Family keeps tasting the homemade ketchup aka tomato sauce?). You want to satisfy the reader without adding too much.

@jinabacarrauthor

I am excited to say that I have finished the edits for Sisters of the Resistance The sequel to sisters at War it will be out September 29 Merci! #booktok #historicalbooklover #booksthatmakeyoucry #Paris #authorlife @Boldwood Books @Ulverscroft

♬ original sound – Jina Bacarr Historical Author♥

Writing the sequel to ‘Sisters At War’ (Paris WW2 — the story of two sisters and how sexual assault on a sister by the SS affects both their lives),

It’s also the story of the women of the French Resistance.

Brave women who never looked back when it came to defending their homes, their children, their men. They suffered, they died… and they survived, too. Eve and Justine Beaufort are two such women.

On a personal note, I am so proud to bring you the story of the Beaufort Sisters — I’m more like Eve, the student, the scientist, adventurous. I always wanted to be like Justine — the glam sophisticate! And what I love most is the strong bond between the two sisters that makes them stronger even when they seem to be on different sides…

LINK to more info on Sisters At War and Sisters of the Resistance

 

 

 

 

Sisters At War:

US https://a.co/d/eZ25gZb      

UK https://amzn.eu/d/0LEWy2z

Who are the Beaufort Sisters?

They’re beautiful

They’re smart

They’re dangerous

They’re at war with the Nazis… and each other.

BONUS The Orphans of Berlin in French coming June 19th!

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I finished writing the sequel to ‘Sisters At War’ called ‘Sisters of the Resistance’ and I’m exhausted by Jina Bacarr

May 11, 2024 by in category historical, Jina’s Book Chat, Paris, sexual assault, sexual violence, World War 2, Writing tagged as , , , , , , ,

@jinabacarrauthor

Guess what! I finished the sequel to Sisters At War called Sisters of the Resistance Pubblishes July 2nd yay! #historicalbooklover #booksthatmakeyoucry @Boldwood Books @Ulverscroft

♬ original sound – Jina Bacarr Historical Author♥
‘Sisters of the Resistance’

I finished Sisters of the Resistance and I when I got edits back from my editor, her words were golden.

‘Marvelous book… absolutely fantastic…’

And notes.

Questions, queries, suggestions, all those wonderful moments a good editor finds that need just a little bit more work… or maybe more. Notes that make it sparkle and readers cry.

Writing the sequel to ‘Sisters At War’ (Paris WW2 — the story of two sisters and how sexual assault on a sister by the SS affects both their lives),

I owe my fairy godmother better known as my Boldwood Books editor a grande latte with a cherry on the top.

With her guidance and support I finished Sisters of the Resistance (sequel to Sisters At War). I’m working on her notes now.

So back to work… if my hair looks golden in the video, it’s because of the wonderful fairy dust she sprinkled on me!

LINK to more info on Sisters At War and Sisters of the Resistance

Sisters At War:

US https://a.co/d/eZ25gZb      

UK https://amzn.eu/d/0LEWy2z

Who are the Beaufort Sisters?

They’re beautiful

They’re smart

They’re dangerous

They’re at war with the Nazis… and each other.

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‘Sisters At War’ and writing the sequel ‘Sisters of the Resistance’ can be maddening by Jina Bacarr

January 11, 2024 by in category historical, Jina’s Book Chat, Paris, sexual assault, sexual violence, World War 2, Writing tagged as , , , , , , ,

It’s called ‘development hell’.

That writing path that causes you to wish for a coffee pot that’s always full of hot java, when connecting the dots in your story drives you crazy, how they jump around in your mind like impish video game icons, taking you down one path then another, then golloping up our words in a big gulp and we start again.

I first came across this phrase when I was writing for TV — kids’ cartoons, daytime drama, kids’ musical show, cable. You submit an idea to the producers, they love it, then spend three hours telling you how to change it.

You rewrite it.

They love it. Then more notes.

You rewrite it…. well, you get the idea. As a king in a famous musical comedy once said, ‘Etc. Etc. Etc.’

Writing the sequel to ‘Sisters At War’ (Paris WW2 — the story of two sisters and how sexual assault on a sister by the SS affects both their lives), is maddening. If I were writing a TV drama and continuing the story from the following week, you put together a recap: ‘Previously on [name of show]’ and you show clips that give the viewer enough of the story so they can jump right in and enjoy the episode.

Try doing that in a WW2 historical novel set in Paris.

Mon Dieu…

I’ve written the opening chapters several times — the goal? Add enough backstory so the reader continuing the story enjoys revisiting ‘Sisters At War’, while the new reader gets enough information so they’re excited about reading the sequel while… here’s the kicker… you KEEP THE ACTION GOING.

You can’t stop the story in midstream with nothing happening but ‘backstory’ in the opening chapters of the sequel. For example, that’s like the heroine sitting on a raft in a river and watching the clouds roll by.

Boring. You need action.

Let’s try this:

A rainstorm with hail pelting her in the face… her baby sister in a big basket crying… then a north wind blowing and the raft nearly capsizes… causing the heroine to nearly fall into the river and a hungry alligator, jaw wide open, swims toward her… while a river bandit shoots at her with a repeating rifle. Then the raft falls apart and dumps the heroine into the river while her baby sister in the basket is about to go over the waterfall…

Oh, my.

There’s a lot going on and it could work, but only if the reader is invested in the heroine. If they care. Why is she on the raft? Is she running away from an abusive father? Is her baby sister sick with the colic? Does she have an important letter to deliver that will change their lives? Is she praying she’ll survive so she can tell the man she loves ‘yes’, she’ll marry him?

So many possibilities.

Blending together backstory and action is the challenge I faced while writing the sequel ‘Sisters of the Resistance’. Keeping my facts straight, talking about what happened when the Nazis occupied Paris, foreshadow where the story is going. And most important, up the stakes on the dynamics between the two sisters who are not only at war with the Nazis, but each other.

I’m happy to say I’ve climbed out of the hole, that the story is humming, rolling along with a lot of action and character development and scenes ‘that make you cry’.

Now to finish it… thank God there was a sale on Starbucks coffee at my market.

Thanks for listening! And I’ll be back next month with my progress…

Sisters At War:

US https://a.co/d/eZ25gZb      

UK https://amzn.eu/d/0LEWy2z

Who are the Beaufort Sisters?

They’re beautiful

They’re smart

They’re dangerous

They’re at war with the Nazis… and each other.

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Writing ‘Sisters At War’: my personal journey by Jina Bacarr

December 11, 2023 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, sexual violence, Writing tagged as , , , , ,

For a date night back in graduate school when my life took a sharp right turn, I slipped on a pair of new red high heels, never dreaming I’d break them in by jumping out of a Mercedes and running away from the man who kidnapped me. I was the victim of sexual assault. For years afterward I blamed myself. Relived the night, asking, what did I do wrong to make him take advantage of me? What should I have done… why didn’t I fight back harder? I couldn’t, the man I dated was drinking heavily and bigger and stronger than me.

Questions and more questions, but no answers.

I kept the details of that night to myself, afraid to share my experience with anyone. Afraid I’d be judged. As if it were my fault.

I left the university and went off the grid for a year. I traveled throughout the US in a job that let me get lost… never staying for more than two days to two weeks in one town. I glammed myself up in a blonde wig and fashionable clothes to forget and pushed the old me into hiding. Then something cool happened. I found purpose in my cosmetics work, bringing a smile to ladies’ faces young and old when I did makeovers for them, traveling from the Big Apple to Amarillo. It was the era when the grande dame department stores ruled the downtowns. I was a language major in college, but I also studied art and costume design and I enjoyed creating color palettes and showing ladies how to look their best.

Until the old fear reared its ugly head.

I’d freeze if I saw someone who reminded me of him.

I couldn’t get into a car without checking to make sure the doors were unlocked.

I didn’t feel safe alone with a man.

To gain confidence in myself, I took self-defense classes, but it took me years before I could talk about what happened. The strange thing is, that came about because of my writing.

I’ve written four books about Occupied Paris and Berlin during World War 2. I’ve covered the concentrations camps, the Resistance, dealing with life under the Nazis, saving Jewish children. It wasn’t until I wrote Sisters At War that I attempted to write about the sexual violence women faced from the Nazis and the Gestapo… the horror and humiliation, not to mention the physical pain and degrading of their bodies.

War crimes against women.

I was appalled and shocked by the inhumane and horrific treatment I unearthed in my research against French and Jewish women.

I was even more disheartened when I discovered that rape wasn’t prosecuted as a war crime at the Nuremberg Trials. That haunted me and set me into motion to tell the story about the two Beaufort Sisters in Paris in 1940 when one of them is raped by an SS officer and the effect it has on both sisters.

Sisters At War is the hardest book I’ve ever written, reliving my own experience through the eyes of the Beaufort Sisters… but writing the sequel Sisters of the Resistance is just as hard because I’m dealing with the aftermath of sexual violence and how it affects the rest of their lives.

I went on with my life, but the mental and emotional anguish stayed with me until I started writing about it. Then I couldn’t type fast enough. I find there’s power in sharing, a healing of the soul and mind. And most of all—     

I’m not afraid to talk about it anymore. 

Jina ‘glammed up’ in blonde wig

Sisters At War:

US https://a.co/d/eZ25gZb      

UK https://amzn.eu/d/0LEWy2z

Who are the Beaufort Sisters?

They’re beautiful

They’re smart

They’re dangerous

They’re at war with the Nazis… and each other.

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Wingspread

April 30, 2022 by in category Quill and Moss by Dianna Sinovic tagged as , , ,
Photo by Bundo Kim on Unsplash

Darci waved the embossed certificate under her sister’s nose. “Don’t you realize it’s a red-letter day? I’m not letting you mess this up.”

Grabbing at the cream-colored document, Kara tried to take it from Darci, and in the brief tug, the paper ripped in two.

“No!” Darci shouted.

Startled at her sister’s vehemence, Kara dropped her half, and Darci snatched it.

“I didn’t mean for it to tear.” Kara regretted that she’d reacted in anger. “But I still don’t like it.”

Darci breathed out slowly. She set the two torn halves on the coffee table, fetched the roll of clear tape, and knelt to patch the rift, all the time ignoring Kara. When she was done, she sat back on her heels and held the certificate up to inspect it.

“It’s still ruined, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’m going. You can’t stop me.”

No, she couldn’t, Kara knew. “I just wish you would reconsider.”

“Never,” Darci said, underlining the word with a scowl. 

“Ever since Mom died, you’ve been . . . ” Kara tried to put words to her observation. “It’s almost like you have a death wish.”

With her scowl deepening, Darci stood up. She hugged the patched paper, wrapping her arms tightly across it. “Mom would have wanted me to do this. She trusted me—she trusted both of us to do what we were meant to do. For me, this is it.”

Kara pushed away the memories of those last days of their mother’s life, the IV drip of pain medicine, the odor of bleach, the gaunt frame of the woman who’d brought them into the world. What was it Kara was meant to do? She still had no idea at twenty-five, but Darci was different. Three years younger, she burned with a mission. 

And to be accepted into the Gloved Force was an achievement few people earned. Kara had been astonished when Darci broke the news. Her sister, a Glover. To learn those secrets . . . 

“It’s dangerous.” Kara tried not to sound pathetic. “You’re so young.”

Darci’s face softened. “Life is dangerous. Every single day. You never know which hour will hold your last breath.” She moved across the room to sit next to Kara. Laying the certificate to one side, she picked up Kara’s hand and held it between her own. “If I can do this thing, and I know that I will, and I should die as a consequence, I’ll still be fulfilled.”

Kara saw the steeliness in her sister’s eyes. When did my kid sister grow up? “When do you leave?” 

Darci smiled then, accepting Kara’s olive branch. “Monday.”

In five days. 

“Let me give you something.” Kara brought back from her bedroom a maroon ring box. She ran a finger over the crushed velvet. “This was Mom’s.”

Darci opened the lid and sucked in a gasp. A slim gold band inlaid with three red sparks. 

“Rubies,” Kara said. “‘One for each of us,’ she told me.”

Her sister removed the ring and held it to the light of a lamp, her eyes glistening.

“Mom said to give this to you when you were ready to fledge,” Kara said. “Go fly.”

Some of Dianna’s Books

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