Joanie Schirm on Her Emotional Journey, Writing About Her Family’s Experiences During WWII

Joanie Schirm had always intended to write a nonfiction story about her family due to her unique background. Her father was a Czech Jewish refugee in China during World War II where he met her mother, and they had a sixty-year love affair full of intriguing stories. It wasn't until her parents passed away that she realized the heartbreaking, emotional truth behind their stories. Schirm discovered 400 letters from 78 different writers that her father had hidden away. She had the letters translated into English and after reading them, knew the book she had to write. These letters were just the beginning of her research process for her award-winning debut book, Adventurers Against Their Will. Schirm traveled to Europe several times for research and even consulted with experts to ensure accuracy in her storytelling. While the process was incredibly emotional, it was also very rewarding, Schirm says.

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  • Joanie your presentation was an inspiration for all of us. Many of us do not have a clue as to things like that. I certainly was not as knowledgeable as I should be. I am writing a children's book that is about my experiences as a little girl visiting her grandparent to make scuppernong jelly. Mine is A Legacy of Love theme