A Purpose True by Gail Kittleson – Interview & Giveaway

Posted by on Nov 10, 2017 | 13 comments

A Purpose True by Gail Kittleson – Interview & Giveaway

A Purpose True is one book I am awaiting with great anticipation. Gail Kittleson writes vivid, moving novels about WWII with characters that will steal your heart and imagination. I know you will enjoy meeting her and hearing about her upcoming sequel to With Each New Dawn. Leave a blog comment as your entry to win an ebook copy of her new book. Sign in on the Rafflecopter to increase your chances of winning! 



Fabulous Fridays

A Purpose True

With Each New Dawn, the prequel to A Purpose True, is a fascinating book and Gail Kittleson and I have discovered some things we have in common as writers, though our books are very different. I am excited to introduce you to her!

Gail, please introduce yourself and tell a little about how you started writing.

Reading has always been my mainstay, with few other diversions on the Iowa farm where I spent my youth. I began journaling as a teen, knew I was meant to write, but had so little self-confidence that I hid most of what I wrote in my desk drawer.

In my thirties, I had a few poems and small prose works published, but after I participated in the Oregon Summer Writing retreat more than a decade later, the writing bug bit me HARD. I’d been teaching college writing and cheerleading other writers, but that summer’s intense experience put me back into the student seat, with somebody giving me assignments.

Then, as I led some groups through The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, my first fictional character appeared. I say appeared because that’s what happened. Her story still hasn’t been published, but I expect it will be some day. In the meantime, I had a lot to learn about fiction writing. What a ride!

Do you plot your stories out ahead of time, or just sit down and write from the seat of your pants?

My characters come to me first, and the plot evolves as I start to write. Since this book is the sequel to two other novels, I knew where I was going a little better this time. But this one was much harder to write, because it seemed wise to use some strong flashbacks. It may have been wise, but also proved exhausting. Getting the sequences just right became quite a challenge.

What makes A Purpose True different from other books in the same genre?

The immediacy of what the characters experienced back in World War II makes this novel comparable to Tracy Groot’s Flame of Resistance and Johnnie Alexander’s Where Treasure Hides. I really wouldn’t want my novel to differ too much from these two fine examples of bringing this troubled time to life for readers.

The difference lies in my focus on Nazi atrocities committed across southern France as the Waffen SS tank units traveled toward Normandy after the D-Day Invasion. These unthinkably horrific acts, witnessed by real people, leave no way to whitewash the historical record.

A Purpose True meme

How did you go about researching the intriguing setting and subject matter for A Purpose True to insure historical accuracy?

My father-in-law has a WWII history/library. Besides those books, my husband and I have amassed others that speak directly to the French Resistance. In addition to a lot of reading, I connected with a European who has studied this time period extensively. His knowledge and suggestions led me to other resources. It seems to me the stories surrounding such earth-shattering events just keep surfacing.

What is your favorite period in history? If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?  

The World War II era. It would be easy to say Winston Churchill, but so many of his opinions and speeches have already written or recorded. I’ve really not thought about this specific question in terms of World War II people, but wouldn’t it be enlightening to spend an evening with Winston’s wife, or one of the wives of other powerful leaders of the time? Mamie Eisenhower, Charles de Gaulle’s wife, or perhaps one of the “unknown” spouses who kept the home fires burning.

What inspired A Purpose True?

This one’s easy, because being a sequel, this novel unfolded to tie up the story of Kate and Domingo, and from the first book in the series, Addie as well. My readers also inspired this book, because I didn’t want to disappoint their hopes for my characters.

What is your favorite literary location you’ve visited? Or which would you absolutely love to visit?

Hmmm…since it’s the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s impact on the world, I could say seeing the door where he nailed his 95 theses was pretty impressive. But I’ve not yet visited England, where the likes of Shakespeare, Robert Browning, and James Barrie lived. I would love to go there, and would definitely plan extra time to explore the areas of London so vital to the WWII operations.

Tell us something about the book and the greatest challenge you faced in writing A Purpose True.

Since this book has been a long time in the writing, I think burnout might have been my greatest challenge. Considering the amount of time and energy required to write these three books, I would say that digesting the horrors of that time has challenged me greatly. You can know the facts—this battle took place here, etc—but never really enter into how the events affected ordinary people.

This novel is about ordinary people—a Basque shepherd who would’ve been happy to live a quiet life on the ancestral home he loved, but became a guide to downed British and American pilots over the border into Spain. From there, the French Resistance asked more and more of him. Pondering how some of his exploits affected him, and how Kate’s work as an undercover agent was not light research. I’m not one to skim over the shadows of events, and these certainly involved many difficulties and injustices.

How do you see the importance of Christian fiction?

If you mean fiction written from a Christian worldview, I think it’s very important. But I really hesitate at the use of this term, because it connotes authors having an agenda to get across a message. I believe that as we approach serious historical facts, our worldview will affect how we relate to them and present them through our characters.

I do not think “Christian fiction” means our characters have few or no questions about the faith—in fact, if they’re serious believers, their sufferings will incite even more questions. That’s certainly true in A Purpose True. Imagine having to risk, and possibly lose all that you love for a cause. Would it be possible to go through this kind of agony without some serious questions about your faith?

Please share the opening scene of A Purpose True with us

April 1976, a small Idaho town

Launching like a World War II V-2 rocket over the balcony of Faithful Shepherd Church was not in Kathryn’s cleaning plan. She wasn’t sure how she had slipped. She recalled the pews and organ appearing like dollhouse furniture from her high perch, and thinking she ought to haul in a ladder to dust all those niches and curves in the gorgeous hand-carved altar.

Had her hand slipped when she tackled some quarter-inch-thick dust in the neglected balcony, or was it her foot? Strange she couldn’t remember, since her sense of equilibrium had distinguished her during parachute training thirty years ago outside of London.

But now, she sailed through the serene sanctuary air as she had way back then, jumping into the Nazi-occupied Auvergne. For a moment, floating over the staid pews as though time had halted, Kathryn could almost feel the cool French air whoosh around her. Seemed like any second, her silk chute would release and fill.

The towering ornate organ pipes along the north wall struck her as more beautiful than ever. Some gentle slant-eyed woman must have painted those oriental designs with great care.

But then a solid thunk on the hard oak floor of the sanctuary ushered Kathryn back to Idaho. All she could see was the wooden lip of a hymnal holder a few inches above her face. Pain ricocheted through her mouth.

Her silk slip hiked up, so she tried to reach down and straighten things, but her arm refused to budge. She tried her left leg, then her right—no movement. Panic, like the volatile floor polish fumes, inundated her. A frantic “Help!” rent the quiet space. Ah, that would be Darlene.

Soon, a gravelly voice exuding meat-and-potatoes breath broke into Kathryn’s awareness. “Nothing appears broken. Amazing, but then, I’ve never known a stronger woman.”

She focused on the face, backed by embossed ceiling tiles swirling far away. The church board always chose the same color, as if the day-old biscuit hue were sacred.

Old Doc Randall’s affectionate hazel eyes scrutinized her through lenses the thickness of her leaded bay window. “You all right?”

Kathryn’s arched tongue failed to reach her teeth.  “Yeh … dus bappa.”

“Just dapper, eh?” Doc’s one-sided smirk reminded Kathryn he’d served in France, too, but in the Great War. She attempted to speak, but to no avail. What was with her tongue, anyhow?

Book Blurb:

Southern France – Spring, 1944

German panzer units crisscross the region, dealing ruthless reprisals against the French Resistance, and anyone suspected of supporting its efforts. Secret Operations Executive (SOE) agent Kate Isaacs is tasked with providing essential radio communications with the Allies, while her guide, Domingo Ibarra, a Basque shepherd-turned-Resistance fighter, dedicates himself to avenging the destruction of his home and family.

Thrown together by the vagaries of war, their shared mission, and common devotion to liberty, the last thing Kate and Domingo anticipate is the stirring of affection that threatens to blossom into love. But how can love survive in the midst of the enemy’s relentless cruelty toward innocent citizens?

Everything hinges on the success of the Allied Invasion – L’Invasion.

Here’s the book trailer for With Each New Dawn, the prequel to A Purpose True!

Gail Kittleson authorAbout the Author:

Gail Kittleson taught college expository writing and ESL before focusing on women’s historical fiction. From northern Iowa, she facilitates writing workshops and women’s retreats, and enjoys the Arizona Ponderosa forest in winter.

Meeting new reading and writing friends is the meringue on Gail’s pie, as her heroines would say.

Connect with Gail:

Website: www.gailkittleson.com

Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/GailKittlesonAuthor v

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/gailkittleson/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/106969195211961187796

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3459831.Gail_Kittleson

Twitter: www.twitter.com/GailGkittleson @GailGkittleson

Other: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gail-kittleson-b0693543

Book Links:

Gail Kittleson books


In This Together: https://www.amazon.com/This-Together-Gail-Kittleson/dp/1509204105/

In Times Like These: https://www.amazon.com/Times-Like-These-Women-Heartland/dp/153296885X/

With Each New Dawn: https://www.amazon.com/Each-New-Dawn-Gail-Kittleson/dp/1946016322/



A Purpose True cover

a Rafflecopter giveaway




  1. Wonderful interview with Gail Kittleson. A Purpose True sounds like a fantastic story to read. I’m adding it to my never ending list of TBR books. Blessings. Thank you for the giveaway, Gail.

    • You’re welcome – thanks for your interest, Marilyn.

  2. Enjoyed meeting you Gail. I, too, love the WWII era, especially as it pertains to the Holocaust. Thank you for sharing your insights.

  3. It was a delight, Nan. So good to meet you here. How did your interest in the Holocaust develop? We once spent 8 months in one of the cities where my heroine spends time. Unfortunately, at that time, we did not realize Le Chambon sur Lignon had received the “righteous among the nations” award from Israel for their incredible risk-taking to save the lives of Jewish children during the war!

  4. I also want to say a big thanks to you, Norma Gail, for allowing me to visit.

    • It’s my pleasure, and has been a joy getting to know you! We’ve formed a new friendship!

  5. Wonderful interview. Looking forward to your new book.

  6. Thanks for taking the time, Ann. I still hoping we can meet some day!

  7. I love historical novels esp. about WWll. After visiting Auschwitz it was made even more real to me. Your book looks very good and I would love to read it.

  8. This was a great interview! I’m always so interested in finding new books about WWII. My Daddy & 4 of his 5 brothers served in WWII (the 5th was too young) & one Great Uncle was a Navigator on a Higgins Boat at Normandy on D-Day! Two other Great-Uncles were POWs in Germany (one recognized the other across the barbed wire fence because of his cocky walk even in the midst of unspeakable horrors – they were neighbors & one married the other’s sister). One of them managed to escape! It’s quite a story! They both survived & the one that escaped came home with TB. These men have always made me want to know about WWII!

    • Wow – that’s quite a story…so they both survived? Has their story been written down? I surely hope so. Thanks for stopping in, Lisa. I had 2 uncles in the war, too.

  9. Love reading about this era! Can the book be read on its own, or does it have to be with the others in the series?

  10. I think if you read it alone, you’d want to read the others, at least the one just before it. There’s a lot of tying up the ends of all the characters’ stories in this last book, Melissa.

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