C.S. Taylor brings little-known all-female regiment to the spotlight in World War II novel, ‘Nadya’s War’
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sarasota, Fla. – Set on the Eastern front of World War II, C.S. Taylor’s intense new novel, “Nadya’s War” (Tiny Fox Press, Sept. 19, 2017), dives into an often-overlooked force in the Red Army, the 586th all-female fighter regiment. A long-overdue story highlighting the combat roles of women, this female-centric novel ties intricate characters with a plot that matches both the fascination of a tumultuous time and the devastation brought by war.
Taylor’s mastery of character arcs and stellar pacing will leave readers with a dazzling glimpse into the past, enticing readers who love World War II fiction, female-empowerment stories, and unusual facets of history. Emotionally raw and meticulously researched, “Nadya’s War” finds its rightful place in the canon of World War II fiction.
About the Book: Nadezdah “Little Boar” Buzina, a young pilot with the Red Army’s 586th all-female fighter regiment, dreams of becoming an ace. Those dreams shatter when a dogfight leaves her severely burned and the sole survivor from her flight.
For the latter half of 1942, she struggles against crack Luftwaffe pilots, a vengeful political commissar, and a new addiction to morphine, all the while questioning her worth and purpose in a world beyond her control. It’s not until the Soviet counter-offensive at Stalingrad that she finds her unlikely answers, and they only come after she’s saved her mortal enemy’s life and fallen in love with the one who nearly kills her.
C.S. Taylor is a former Marine and avid fencer (saber for the most part, foil and epee are tolerable). He enjoys all things WWII, especially perfecting his dogfighting skills inside virtual cockpits, and will gladly accept any P-38 Lightnings anyone might wish to bestow upon him. He’s also been known to run a kayak through whitewater now and again, as well give people a run for their money in trap and skeet.
About the book
C.S. Taylor September 19, 2017 Tiny Fox Press
ISBN: 978-1-946501-01-1 (Paperback)
Price: $14.95 (Paperback) $8.99 (Ebook)
Historical Fiction World War II Fiction
An Interview with C.S. Taylor
How did you first learn about the Red Army’s 586th all-female fighter regiment, and what drew you to write a story featuring a member as the lead protagonist?
Initially, I stumbled upon an online article dealing with the Night Witches, who were part of the 588th Night Bomber Regiment for the Red Army Air. The 588th was also an all-female regiment, and they flew outdated biplanes into battle.
Their recounts and bravery astounded me, and I thought they’d make an excellent focus for a new book. In researching the 588th, I learned a lot about the other two female squadrons, the 586th and the 587th. Eventually, I settled on the 586th, as I always loved a good dogfight and the 587th and 588th were strictly bomber regiments and didn’t have any fighter planes.
How did your own military experience as a Marine play into your writing?
On the surface, being a grunt on the ground doesn’t share a lot of commonality with an officer in the air, seventy-plus years ago, fighting in a war and coming from a culture about which I can only read. That said, there’s still shared experiences common to all those in the military: being out in the field, operating under a fog of war, respecting chains of command, etc.
But what helped the most were the contacts I’d made in the Corps who knew a lot about the Eastern Front, or could point me to people who knew even more, to iron out sticky details.
You did an impressive job researching the Red Army and Nadya’s regiment. How did that research shape your plot, and did you have to change anything along the way to make it line up with the history?
Up until the Battle of Stalingrad, the 586th guarded targets behind friendly lines, so I had to come up with plausible reasons for Nadya to find herself patrolling or even assisting in strikes into German-held territory without them being a gross violation of what the 586th’s orders were at the time.
Second, I had to make sure who shot down what didn’t interfere with well-established events, such as which female pilot scored the first aerial victory, who made ace first, etc. while at the same time showcasing Nadya’s growing skills as a pilot.
What do you find to be the most interesting aspect of historical fiction, both as an author and as a reader?
I think that would be bringing to life something foreign in vivid detail. Though it’s natural, we see the world around us through a 21st century lens. I’ve always liked when that view shifts and a new take on life is had.
Did you ever find Nadya’s character challenging to write? How did you break through hurdles you faced?
Always. Without spoiling the plot, she decks an officer early on. I didn’t plan it, but when it came out on page, I couldn’t deny that’s what she’d do. From then on, she ran loose and destroyed my outline of what I wanted to have happen.
By the end of the first draft, I had her mostly down as a character, but it took a lot of revisions and many fantastic beta readers to point out all the reasons “this doesn’t work” or “that makes me hate her” until she got to where she is now.
Are there any other unusual historical topics that you might write about in the future?
World War II was such an interesting war, so the natural answer is to continue with the 586th or maybe jump to one of the other two sister regiments. However, there are a plethora of novels for that period in history, so finding untouched subjects can be difficult.
I’ve also been looking at some of the lesser-known sieges in history that are impressive in terms of what the attackers and defenders went through. There’s a lot to work with there, too, but not as many dogfights.
You mention saber, foils, and epees in your bio. For us fencing novices, what are the differences between the three, and how did you spark an interest in fencing?
I took an early interest in fencing in elementary school when I found my dad’s old fencing gear. I didn’t start fencing in any serious manner until high school, as there weren’t any clubs around until them.
Essentially, the three styles of fencing—foil, epee, and saber—come down to what duel they were modeled after. Foil mirrors a to-the-death encounter with a rapier, where points are scored only by sticking someone in the chest. Epee centers around first blood, so a stick anywhere on the body (big toe included) scores you a point. Last, saber models cavalry hacking at each other. Anything from the waist up counts, and unlike foil and epee, you can use the edge of your weapon as well as the tip to score.
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