Shadows in the Mist is dedicated to my grandfather, Captain Henry "Hank" Moreland. As a U.S. Army pilot during World War II, he flew C-47's that dropped Army paratroopers over France. My grandfather braved many deadly missions through storms of flack from German anti-aircraft guns and Luftwaffe jetfighters in hot pursuit.
I was fortunate my grandfather survived World War II, because he has been a powerful role model in my life. He was a man of action more than words. I remember visiting him in my youth he had this old Army footlocker that he kept locked up. When I asked my grandfather what was in it, he said it contained photos, letters, and memorabilia from his war days. Always a curious kid, I asked if I could see them. But my grandfather’s eyes suddenly turned haunted, and he said he could never open that footlocker. Growing up, I often wondered what mysteries were concealed in that locker. Perhaps writing this novel has been a way to solve that mystery for myself.
My lead character Jack Chambers is a veteran colonel who has also kept a secret locked away for sixty years. Haunted by post-war nightmares and guilt from a pact he made to conceal a dark conspiracy, Colonel Chambers entrusts his grandson to deliver a war diary to the Army that will open up an investigation and release Chambers’ from his inner demons once and for all. While my novel is dedicated to my grandfather, the main hero, especially when depicted as a young lieutenant, is a combination of the infantry soldiers I interviewed and read about while researching World War II.
Dawson at Camp Bowie, Brownwood, Texas 1941
Dawson as a young pilot , 1942, flying PT 17’s
Dawson’s C-47. “Dabo” was his nickname for his wife.
Me as a toddler riding "Peanut"
My grandfather is currently 88 and going strong. I recently did two book signings with him in West Texas where I kicked off my book tour. One was the local Carnegie Library in Ballinger, Texas, and the other at our annual Moreland Family Reunion. It was an honor and a privilege to sit next to a war hero and autograph books.
Signingn together at Carnegie Library in Ballinger, Texas
Three generations of Moreland. Dawson, Dad, and me.