Lauren Linwood here, and the former history teacher that I am can’t let June 6th go unnoticed. This day is a watershed event in history.
Back in 1944, the world had gone topsy-turvy. The US fought on two fronts—the Pacific Theatre, where we were up against the Japanese—and the European Theatre, where we did combat with Axis Powers Germany and Italy.
The Allies had decided to invade Normandy in Operation Overlord, the largest seaborne invasion in history. Their goal? To liberate the German-occupied lands of northwestern Europe, which would help lead to the Allied victory on the Western Front.
Something on this grand a scale doesn’t happen overnight. Allied leaders had begun planning this invasion in 1943. They even engaged in Operation Bodyguard, a huge military deception to confuse the Germans as to when and where the invasion would launch. They had to rely on weather reports that detailed the tides, phases of the moon, and pinpoint the best time of day to start the attack for maximum visibility and minimum exposure. The Allies also sent forces in the night before the landings at Normandy, with over 24,000 American, Canadian, and British air troops parachuting in amidst huge aerial and naval bombardments.
The weather delayed the attack by a day, and even as Allied forces landed along a solid fifty mile stretch of Normandy, strong winds blew many of the landing craft far from their goal. These troops faced heavy fire from German troops that overlooked the beaches, and they had to make their way through a shoreline mired with mines and obstacles. Though not perfect in execution, this June 6, 1944, attack allowed Allied forces a foothold in Western Europe. It was only a matter of time before they claimed a victory which affects the world to this day.
Just as this military invasion required meticulous planning, so does the writing of a novel. As a writer, I take quite a bit of time creating character sketches for my hero, heroine, and antagonist (and sometimes even a few of the supporting characters). I decide on their physical looks, personality traits, and back stories. I determine what goals they seek, what motivates them, and decide what obstacles to throw in their way to create the best, most interesting conflict.
I also like to plan out major events that will occur in my romance. I know some writers who do detailed forty page outlines, but that’s not me. I prefer to know what the highlights are and then write organically. I suppose I fancy myself a General Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of the Allies for this D-Day attack. While he planned as best as possible, he knew he had to stay flexible for the inevitable monkey wrenches that would be tossed into this enormous attack. I do the same. I have a good idea where I’m going in advance, but I let my characters take me along the way. They may be sidetracked and face obstacles, as some of the landing forces were on D-Day, but I’m always able to rein them in and bring them back to where they need to go in order for them to achieve their HEA.
So here’s a nod to the amazing people who planned and executed Operation Overlord on June 6, 1944. Many decades later, I—and so many others—can enjoy a very different life in freedom, thanks to their sacrifice.
Lauren Linwood’s latest release is Word of Honor: Book 1 of The Knights of Valor. It is set during The Hundred Years’ War and is the love story of Geoffrey de Montfort and Merryn Mantel. You can purchase it at: