I “met” Gail online a year or so ago at her Dare To Bloom blog. Gail most often highlights other writers on her blog, so I wanted to give her a chance to let one of the characters of In This Together step into the spotlight. Her heroine, Dotty Kyle, is forthright, a hard worker, and slugging her way through losing her son in WWII. Not long after the war, she lost her husband to cancer. A reporter comes to their small town looking to interview mothers who have lost their sons in the War for a series of articles.
Reporter: Hello, there. Are you Mr. Jensen?
Al: I am, but my son is the proprietor here now. I just help him out.
Reporter: Fine business you have here. Uh, I stopped in for some help. I’m looking for Dottie Kyle. You know her?
Al: I do, but may I ask what you’re … “
Reporter: Oh, sorry. I’m from the county newspaper, and we’re running a series on Gold Star mothers—women who lost sons in the war. Mrs. Kyle is on our list, and I hope to speak with her.
Al: That’s not a good idea, son.
Reporter: But I … I can’t go back without a story.
Al: You just might have to. Dottie’s not one to talk with strangers, and when it comes to her son, she’s not one to talk with anybody.
Reporter: You know her well?
Al: Been neighbors for thirty some years. Her husband was my friend.
Reporter: Was? So he has passed, too?
Al: Right as the war ended.
Reporter: So Mrs. Kyle bears two recent losses. And did you have a son in the war?
Al: Sure did, but we were lucky. He came home.
Reporter: I’d still like to find Mrs. Kyle. Can you tell me where she’d be?
Al: Nope, she’s a private person, doesn’t need anybody poking into her business. I hope you’ll respect that.
Reporter: You seem quite protective of her.
Al: She’s been through enough, and she’d tell you no flat out, anyway. But she’s a peach of a gal.
Reporter: Could you … do you have any other names to give me?
Al: Scratches his head and peers out the window.
Reporter: There must be somebody else who lost …
Al: Oh! Try Henrietta Perry, lives right across from the Lutheran church on Washington Street. She lost a nephew, and she loves the limelight.
So, what does Al do after the reporter leaves? His mind stays with Dottie, and he loses track of the nails and bolts he’s putting away in their little drawers. Didn’t Mrs. Roosevelt say something about a woman being like a teabag, showing her strength in hot water? Well, that was Dottie Kyle for sure. How can he possibly win the affection of such a nuts and bolts woman—she knows her mind, and keeps it to herself.
Blurb: Dottie Kyle’s everyday post-WWII world centers on hard work. When the war steals her son and she loses her husband soon after the Allied victory, her job at Helene’s boarding house gives her a reason to wake up in the morning. But when her daughter in California experiences complications in her third pregnancy and needs help with the little grandchildren Dottie longs to meet, old fears of closed-in spaces hinder the required cross-country train trip.
Meanwhile, unexpected challenges arise at work, and Dottie’s next-door widower neighbor Al’s sudden attention startles her–could he hold the clue to conquering anxieties that have her in a stranglehold?
Ways to contact Gail: