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By Laura Drinan
Hometown Weekly Reporter
On May 23, longtime Dover resident Henry Faulkner visited the Dover Town Library for a talk on the history surrounding his books, “Sprouting Wings” and “Slow But Deadly.” The historical fiction novels revolve around Alan Ericsson, who begins his training to be a carrier pilot as tensions between the United States and Japan grow during World War II.
During his talk, Faulkner discussed the real events that took place in the Pacific Ocean theater and how he developed a story to fit with the history. He first began with some facts about some of the battles and raids after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
“What history there was tended to be history aimed at other people really interested in naval history, not to the general public,” said Faulkner. It was because of this that Faulkner felt inspired to write his own novels.
“It was very detailed, a little dry – not easy reading unless you were an enthusiast, so I thought if I could write a series and start these novels, that could give people an idea of what went on in a way that is more interesting and easier to get into.”
He had first outlined the story after high school, and he saved his notes until several years ago, when he decided to finally start writing. What is truly commendable about Faulkner’s writing is that he is able to seamlessly insert fictional characters and storylines into actual history.
During his presentation, Faulkner exhibited his broad knowledge of World War II, which he first became interested in as a teenager. He discussed specific aircrafts, like the SBD Dauntless dive bomber, the fleet carriers in the Pacific during World War II, the Battle of the Coral Sea, and the Battle of Midway.
In “Slow But Deadly,” Faulkner also includes references and a bibliography of sources he used while researching for his novels for those who might be interested in further learning about the history of the Pacific Ocean theater.
Both “Sprouting Wings” and “Slow But Deadly” are in circulation at the Dover Town Library and can be purchased online.