A Historical Novel of Cultural Pride, Duty, Sacrifice, and Intergenerational Love— Based on One Man’s Remarkable Life, Discovered by His Granddaughter
Son of a Basque is about one man’s journey of survival starting at age 10, when he became the man of the house. Losing his baby sister and then his father were traumatic events for him, even more so than surviving over 25 military missions in World War II. This is a book of hope and loss and what we choose to do in tragic situations. The story is based on my grandfather’s own life, so it contains a lot of truth and reality. It demonstrates that when he was asked “Are you going to be part of the problem or part of the solution his choi?” He was always to step up and be part of the solution, even in the darkest of times.
What do you hope other people will take away from reading your book?
Reading this story is like escaping to a different time in history. I hope readers will feel as though they are right there with the main character as he trudges through adversity and loss and keeps going. If we can learn about trauma and how people survived it, then that is knowledge we can put to use in our own lives. Son of a Basque puts into perspective what life was like in the military during wartime in a way I have not read before. The main character demonstrates so much strength that it stays with you days after reading.
What was the most difficult part about writing the book? The most rewarding?
The most difficult part of writing the book was keeping it in the voice of Mark Arrieta. I wanted it to be as authentic to my grandfather as possible. I had to make a lot of revisions to the writing because my grandfather hadn’t yet decided whether he wanted the book to be an autobiography or historical fiction. Since he is no longer with us, I knew it had to be fiction. Writing and rewriting the story was a very emotional process for me, especially when I learned something about my grandfather’s life that I didn’t know before.
It has been most rewarding to honor a man who performed so much service in his life. He saw more than the average person and lived an extraordinary life. I know he has been with me on this journey and he is very proud of me. I can hear him saying, “Debbie did it!” Mark kept his suffering to himself, and when I read his manuscript, I could not believe all the challenges he faced in his lifetime. It is also rewarding to know I helped him finally get his book published. His story and service deserved that.
What was the biggest challenge in writing your book?
Editing the book, especially making sure the characters and timeline worked, was the biggest challenge. I think that took the majority of the time. It was very challenging not having my grandfather here to do this himself. I know that if he were still here, there would be many more stories in the book. The experience of writing and working on this project made me realize I really did not know enough about my grandparents and great-grandparents. After finding my grandfather’s manuscript, I wished I could go and interview them all!
How can our readers get a copy of your book?
What is the best way for our readers to connect with you?
Please connect with me via the following:
My website: https://deborahdriggs.com