Episode 194 – “Racing For Paris”

By Damien Newbie Writers Podcast Comments Off on Episode 194 – “Racing For Paris”

The Newbie Writers’ Podcast

Special Guest: Meg Waite Clayton


This week have the honour to interview Meg Waite Clayton, a prolific author who’s latest book is The Race For Paris. Join us while we pick the brain of someone who has ‘been there, done that.’

The Race for Paris

Meg Waite Clayton’s well researched novel, The Race for Paris hit the San Francisco Chronicle/NCIBA bestseller list in its 1st week out. “I did a tremendous amount of research on real journalists like Lee Miller, who reported and photographed for Vogue, Martha Gellhorn, Lee Carson, and Sonia Tomara, the great photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White (who was never accredited to Normandy, as she was seen as too temperamental), and Dickey Chappelle, who photographed in the Pacific.

“I chose to draw on their real lives but fictionalize them, as that allowed me to gather a wide range of experiences and load them into a couple characters, which allowed me to build the challenges the real women faced into a story with a more classic story arc and narrative drive that might not always be there in real life but helps carry the reader along. But the scene in the operating room in the opening chapter, for example, was inspired by an experience Bourke-White had in Italy. A much later scene is inspired by a moment Martha Gellhorn had in France. I drew heavily from the writings of Lee Miller, the letters of Martha Gellhorn, and the extensive interviews with the women correspondents, which the Women’s Press Corps had the brilliant idea to record while these extraordinary women were still alive.

“Most of the journalists were male, of course, but there were women vying to be first, too, and some made it to cover the liberation, and even had claims to be first. Lee Carson, who reported for INS, rode in on a jeep with Bob Reuben of Reuters, who joked that Carson claimed to be first and was not sharing the honor even with her jeep mates, as they were in the back while she had very particularly chosen the front seat!


I’m working on the holiday newsletter which is more widely read and praised than my novels. Why? I believe because it’s personal and the readers knows the family. How can your fiction characters have more personality? What would their Christmas letters chronicle? Photos? Is he standing before a dragon, taking a selfie and reporting – got another one this year? Or did she take a long shot of the sea and writing – left again on the shore, I should stop dating sea captians?

Word of the week:

Words Don’t mean what they used to:

Courtesy of http://www.sfgate.com/technology/article/20-words-whose-definitions-have-changed-6571251.php

It used to be a thing that slowed down traffic or inspired you to buy concealer. Now, a bump is a verb “to move an online post or thread to the top of the reverse chronological list by adding a new comment or post to the thread,” according to Dictionary.com.


Tortured sentence:

The winter of 1620 was a hard one for the settlers. Many people died and many babies were born. Captain John Smith was responsible for all this.

The World According to Student Bloopers

Richard Lederer
St. Paul’s School

Also for Damien to read out loud (thanks to email!):

Dionne’s voice is cute! CUTE!

Replace that mean old man with the cute and wonderful Dionne!!


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