Why is my mermaid, Triana, more like Princess Leia from Star Wars than Ariel, The Little Mermaid? She uses her brain and abilities to save two worlds despite the risks. In fact, Triana endangers her life to help those she loves, and takes the chance of losing her happy ending, which includes a guy.
Writing stories in the fantasy genre is my passion, but I’ve always enjoyed history. That’s when the idea to write about a time traveling mermaid hit me. Though I want readers to escape realism, I also hope that they learn a few things too. Maybe they will be inspired to be the next hero or heroine this world needs. While researching for the historical parts of my books I discovered: 1) I really don’t know enough about history and 2) There are many amazing women in history!
Cornelia is the first historical person I wrote about in Travelers. The other characters lived in actual places and eras of history, but they are strictly fictional. (Although their names may seem slightly similar to characters from famous books and television.)
Miss Fort came from a wealthy family that lived in Nashville, Tennessee. She wasn’t prissy like girls of her status were expected to be, but rather she was a tomboy. She looked for adventure outside the debutante and society scene. In 1940 she took her first flying lessons from a friend’s boyfriend. In 1941 Cornelia received her pilot’s and instructor’s license. She proved to those who thought women shouldn’t or couldn’t fly that they were full of bologna.
Her new career led Cornelia to Colorado to teach flying, but she wanted to do more for her country, so she ended up at Andrews Flying Service in Honolulu, Hawaii. Many of those she taught were in the military stationed at Hawaii. The day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Cornelia was in the air with a student. She even wrote an article about it for a magazine, and she gave a few interviews about her experience.
After the near miss with the Japanese fighter pilot, Cornelia was asked to join the Women’s Auxiliary Ferry Service (WAFS). Her main job was to deliver planes to the military so the men could fight in the war.
Cornelia was the first WAFS to die on a mission. She didn’t die because of enemy fire, but rather because of her adventurous spirit. Cornelia was trying out some forbidden formation flying while delivering aircraft from Long Beach, California to Dallas Love Field. Her risky move caused her to collide with another plane on the same mission, and she died in the crash. She didn’t follow the rules and some could say that is what killed her, but Cornelia wasn’t meant to color inside the lines. She set out to prove she was capable to reach far beyond what others thought was possible for women. Cornelia, like my character Triana, wanted to make a difference. They didn’t let fear or the boundaries stand in their way.
To read more on Cornelia, here are some sources I found interesting and insightful:
Blogs About An Author's Travels Through Life & the World