Today I’ll be hosting author Emily Ann Putzke as part of her blog tour promoting Resist; I always love seeing the snippets of reenacting life that appear on her blog, so I’m thrilled to have her here to talk more about that! (All photographs courtesy of Emily).
Hi everyone! I’m Emily Ann Putzke, author of It Took a War, Ain’t We Got Fun, and my newest novel Resist which released this week. I’m so excited to be guest posting on Misty Corners and to tell you a little bit about reenacting and how it’s helped with my writing!
I’ve been a Civil War reenactor for almost four years and it greatly influenced my Civil War novella, It Took a War. I get to see, taste, and experience things that my main character, Joe Roberts, would have as a Civil War soldier. I sleep in a tent, which can get very cold at night, and I’m awakened by the sound of Reveille.
The guns and artillery during the battles are not only incredibly loud (the vibrations rack throughout your body) but the air is thick with the smell of sulfur. I love the camaraderie as we sit around the campfire in the evenings to sing, talk, or sip coffee. At the end of the day everyone’s pretty tired, so it feels nice to be snug in my tent as the day ends with Taps. All these moments contributed to It Took a War although I have it waaaay easier than any soldier would have!
WWII reenacting is different and I really love it. The sounds are different than a Civil War battle. Machine gun fire and the roar of airplane engines was something I was not accustomed to before WWII reenacting. In Resist, my main character serves on the Eastern Front. Through reenacting, I can get an idea of the sounds and smells that would have encompassed him.
I also love dressing up in period clothing. Just donning 1940’s garb helps to immerse myself in the time period when I’m writing.
It’s not everyday that German soldiers march past you. My main character is a medic in the Wehrmacht, so seeing and interacting with reenactors portraying the German army is a unique experience that is really beneficial for a WWII author!
Mary asked me to give some advice for people who’d like to get started in reenacting. I actually got started in Civil War reenacting through friends of my family, but I’d suggest Googling groups in your area. That’s what I did with WWII reenacting and I found a very welcoming, authentic, and all around awesome group of people!
Thank you so much for guest posting Emily!! It was fun getting a glimpse into the life of a reenacting author — I’ve definitely been inspired by your passion for history!
Be sure to check out Emily’s new book and enter the giveaway for a $50 Amazon giftcard! (WordPress isn’t letting me show the actual widget, but if you click on the link it’ll take you there, or you can enter from Emily’s blog page here.)