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LETTERS TO LORETTA FROM THE RADIO SHACK, A True WWII Teenage Love Story
Read the rare and recently discovered real time letters between Sal, age 19, and Loretta, age 15, during the final terrifying three years of World War II, 1943-1946.
Both from the Douglas Park neighborhood in Chicago, the two adolescents discuss with humor and candor, the Navy, war, politics, hit music, life back home and their relationship.
Sal nicknamed Slabby for his movie star good looks, deciphers code out of the Navy’s radio shack on a minesweeper in the Pacific.
Loretta monikered Duchess for her aloofness, lives with aunts and her widowed father, while holding day jobs and enjoying an active social life with friends.
Letters to Loretta from the Radio Shack lets you experience World War II, both in battle and on the home front, through the eyes of adolescents in a way that Hollywood has never portrayed.
January 5, 1943
US Naval Training Station
1330 So. Washington Ave.
Gee, but aren't you thoughtful. By the way, every time I write a letter to you, you seem to be writing a letter back home. Isn't that a co-incidence or isn't it? I received two letters to date, so “keep em flying.”
It was just a month ago that I left and I'll be damned if I know whether it seems like a year or a week. As far as concerning you, it seems like a year. I presume you're still as sharp as a whip, you old prankster. Say, in your next letter send me a couple of pictures of yourself, one of them recently taken and you may charge it to Uncle Sam and his fleet.
So I see your stepping out now, you're really cooking with the right kind of material. Don't forget I've got a date with you when I get back home, which I hope won't be any longer than a year.
Had a lot of fun at the rifle range this week as no doubt Joe will tell you. I still get three square meals a day, and are they square. A slice of bread with plenty of nothing.
This weather we have up here now surely reminds me of Chicago. It’s dingier than a campaign speech and it just knocks the hell out of these Californians out here. They're just used to beautiful women and mild weather, while we in Chicago are used to gales and violent women.
Do you know what? In “Frisco” the taverns close at midnight. Now isn't that a whacky thing to do?
Haven't seen many movies lately except for a few Navy films showing recent battles to get us boiled. But if we don't get our liberty Wednesday, I'll boil over like a frozen motor. They're going to keep an eye on our company while we're on liberty (now what the hell do you call liberty like that?) and if we're good we'll get one every two weeks. Very, very thoughtful, don't you think? I'll leave you know how I make out, so until then.
Lots of love,
By Laura Lynn Ashworth
Tell us about yourself:
I’m a professional writer and media relations specialist for Fortune 500 companies. My writing and artistic ability caught the attention of teachers when I was in grade school and I just continued with it from there. I’m an interesting combination of artsy and scientific, and I love all that is true and beautiful in this world. My life’s mission is to find true love and to write about it whenever I run into it.
What was your first book?
Letters to Loretta from the Radio Shack, A True WWII Teenage Love Story. It was released in November 2014 around Veteran’s Day.
Describe your first break.
Within days of sending out my manuscript to publishers, I received three contract offers from traditional publishers.
What is your favorite genre to read? To write?
I love to read historical romances, but I like non-fiction too. Therefore, my favorite thing to write are non-fiction romances. Ha,ha…go figure.
Are Happy Endings are must in your stories?
Not necessarily. I like realistic endings, either happy or where the main characters receive redemption or learn important life lessons.
What makes a protagonist interesting?
I think the perfect protagonist is pure in heart and an underdog, yet has the potential to be the victor despite tremendous odds against him or her. All they have to do is believe in themselves and tell the truth.
What is the best thing about being a writer?
Self-expression through written word. It generates a tremendous feeling of accomplishment.
What is the worst thing?
Writing is easy, making sure everything is perfect and that all the details,i.e. punctuation, spelling, etc., is the tedious and most time-consuming part.
Pantser or plotter?
I’m both, I know in my head how my story will start and end…what comes in between takes on a life of its own once I sit down to write.
What do you see the direction of your future writing taking? What can we expect next? Give us a little taste.
I know what my next two books will be already and will start the next one this summer. It will be an anthology of romantic tales in which innocence meets shocking and outrageous realities.
Just for fun
Cat or dog person?
I love and have had them both. I think animals are humans with furry exteriors therefore I love them all the same
Chicken and vegetables
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Would you rather be the princess or the villain? Why?
I don’t know if I would like to be a princess, they seem rather shallow, but I would definitely not want to be a villain. I could never hurt people especially by being evil.
Who has more fun, orcs or hobbits?
I’m afraid it might be orcs, because the more primitive and careless an individual is in their interactions with others, the more that easily amuses them. Hobbits, however, deserve to have more fun.
Laura Lynn Ashworth is an award-winning copywriter and political cartoonist. While helping an elderly family member with veterans administration paperwork, she ran across “the letters” and instantly knew of their rarity, freshness and historical significance. Although she received three publishing contracts within two months of sending the letters to major publishers, Ashworth decided to publish them herself on the advice of best-selling authors. She currently lives and works in a northwest suburb of Chicago.
10% of author proceeds will be donated to the USO and VFW in loving memory of Sal and Loretta.
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