I write of the after effects and recovery following war. I write of the trauma of civilian refugees more than of war. That is in my The Stolen Years series. It's about the coming of age of a small inland country town in Australia and the post-WWII migrants and the recovery from the British invasion of Australia.
I told some of their stories of recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder brought about by a war in my novels, but only snippets about the war.
I read my father's WWII stories and listened to my mother's stories about the time. Some of it is in my novels. You have to realize that WWII destroyed both my parents.
My generation was brought up by traumatize adults. We don't feel the same about WWII as the following generation might. My father was an officer who ended up in charge of a prisoner of war camp. He returned from that a changed man—not a nice man.
If I did not see war directly, I saw the post-WWII refugees. Remember, that the war in Europe never actually finished when it was said to. In the following years—I forget how many years, close to a decade after the 'official' end of the war in Europe, millions of Germans were murdered as borders changed and many found themselves no longer in Germany and protected by a homeland.
Refugee status caused by war is what I want to write about, and have written about. I write novels that have a social injustice and those who have gone bad as a result of those social injustices as my protagonist. That's how I see war, as the antagonist, not as the Axis and Allies.
I knew many of those displaced people from WWII, I saw the prejudice against Jews, against Germans and the Japanese when it was at its strongest, and I saw my mother protecting all against the hostility at that time.
I've spent a good part of my life giving what protection I can to war refugees, the Vietnamese, Middle Eastern Muslims, the Somalis from Northern Africa. I'm far more interested in sharing the stories of what the horror of war does in creating refugees than writing stories about the war. I want to write to show that these are people like you and me and that every effort should be made not to fight in a war. We have weapons of education, assistance and economic sanctions or trade agreements to negotiate with. I'd love stories about great negotiations. I'm writing one now about when major changes in Europe were negotiated between the bed covers, no blood was spilt.
That is me. Always one step out from what is popular writing. When I speak on Facebook now about refugees, and my page goes dead. That's like if you said you were a friend of a Jew or a German of a Japanese back 'then.' Bigotry just has a different group name to it today. I write to show we all have more in common that me have differences, so I cannot write a,them and us, Allies and Axis, good guys and villians, war novel. War is the great protagonist in all my work. When the 1950s and the result of war becomes popular reading, then my work will be hot genre.
Just as well we are all different in the passion that drives us to write. This is how I do most of my writing today—blog length, trying to influence for there not to be war, and to influence that we people of the World, having once again created a refugees from war crisis, must take care of the refugees with humanity.
The book that I love most in my series, Billabong Fire brings out the backgrounds of a German couple who migrated to Australia following the WWII. Up until that book, you only know the couple by their current actions. In this book, you discover why they act as they do, and they have a chance to recover.
I based the story of the German migrant couple in my novel on the German couple that my mother brought into our home. It isn't a hard read. I don't write a romance novel, but I do write of love.