“What Leora Never Knew” Needs a Subtitle

What Leora Never Knew is the working title for the next book, which includes my research from the 1990s. I wanted to know what happened to Dale, Danny, and Junior Wilson, who were lost during World War II.

I didn’t realize I’d grown up with the shadows of those three brothers, since my mother suffered from depression because of those horrendous losses. I was along when Mom and her sister took Grandma to the cemetery in Perry every Decoration Day to remember them with bouquets of flowers, but we never talked about them or the war.

But when Grandma Leora died, Mom and her sister grieved deeply, not only losing their mother, but also reliving the war. At that time I didn’t even know what New Guinea had to do with the war (one of the brothers was lost off New Guinea), and I couldn’t tell one WWII plane from another. As I began to transcribe the letters, I also requested casualty and combat records, wrote letters to veterans who knew one of the brothers, read history after history of the war. My journey in this role as family historian included ride in a bomber and a trip to France.

Learning to write well enough included attending workshops and conferences, even online ones, becoming a regular contributor to a couple of newspapers (which paid for stamps and SASEs that we needed back then).

On this Purple Heart Day, the manuscript is taking shape, but it still doesn’t have a subtitle.

Thinking about what the cover might look like

If you were to pick up a book called What Leora Never Knew, which subtitle would cause you to look at the back cover or inside, or even buy the book?

The Shadows of Those Three Sons Lost during the War

A Granddaughter’s Quest for Answers

What Happened to Those Three Young Pilots?

The Aftermath of World War II

Any other suggestions???


  1. I like “The Aftermath of World War II”. I feel it ties in well with your first book’s subtitle. You have loyal, dedicated readers by now who will eagerly pick up the “next Leora book”. Bob

  2. The proposed cover is “spot on”. The three poppies superimposed over the photos of Dale, Danny, and Junior are, as is said, worth a thousand words. Especially for those readers of your previous books. Bob

    • I kept coming back to the poppies because Grandma offered poppies for donations with her Legion Auxiliary group every year, making sure those who took flowers to the graves in Perry had a poppy to wear. Nelly Murariu will do the actual cover. She’s created such compelling covers for all three books, but I keep notebooks on what I’m working on (and a few in the future, can you believe that!), and it helps to have a cover mockup to make it feel real. You’re right–Leora certainly does have her fans!

  3. I’d go with “A Granddaughter’s Quest for Answers” because it suggests that the book will include love of family, the need for connection, and the process by which this connection is achieved. (For me, context is everything!)

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