So, You’ve Never Heard of the Sand Pounders? Don’t Worry, You’re Not Alone!
Most stories, whether fiction or non-fiction, about World War II are set in Europe. However, the U.S. citizens who were left at home were greatly affected by the war as well, and not just because they were missing and praying for their loved ones overseas. I was born in 1951, just a few years after the end of the terrible war. My father served in the war for a short time.
Because we lived in Oregon, we often went to the Oregon Coast. (Burrrrrr…it’s cold and windy there!) On more than one occasion, he took us up to Fort Stevens, the only place in the continental U.S. that was shelled during the war. He told us about the war, but he never mentioned the Sand Pounders!
…we can always use our imagination to create something interesting!
Fast forward several decades and this horsewoman was searching for an interesting story for my blog (www.themisttrilogy.blogspot.com) about noble and great horses. My search for unique stories resulted in the creation of two historical fiction books: “PINTO! Based Upon the True Story of the Longest Horseback Ride in History,” and “The Sand Pounder – Love and Drama on Horseback in WWII.” In both cases, I stumbled upon the event which formed the basis for my books completely by accident!
Since I had never heard of the Sand Pounders, a division of the U.S. Coast Guard charged with patrolling the beaches on horseback on the east and west coasts and along the gulf during WWII, I was curious. I started looking up information on the topic. I discovered a newly released, previously confidential, report by the Coast Guard that had a wealth of information written in a very boring format. Yes, it was boring to read, but I learned a lot and it peaked my imagination. (I always tell my five children that smart people never get bored…we can always use our imagination to create something interesting!) I also found a few articles on the topic. I listed these in the back of the book.
Since I grew up in Oregon and lived there until I was forty-six, and the Oregon coast was one of the areas that was patrolled by the Sand Pounders, I decided to set my story there. Tillamook was a logical place to start since it was close to a Coast Guard station and the home of the Blimps that patrolled the coast by air. It was also close to Fort Stevens so the residents would have been particularly fearful of an invasion. Therefore, it became the home of my protagonist, Jane.
Including the horse information was easy for me as I am a life-long equestrian. In fact, most of my twenty books are based upon horses or horse-based fantasy creatures. If you want to write a story, pick something you are passionate about. I love horses and own three. You may be passionate about skiing or camping or food! Whatever it is, use that as the start of your own adventure. You can use a real event, as I did with “The Sand Pounder,” or a completely made up one to create your story.
Have fun reading “The Sand Pounder!” Oh, and please post a review on Amazon and Goodreads and tell your friends about it. I appreciate you!
For more information about author M. J. Evans, visit my earlier post, Book Review + Giveaway: The Sand Pounder and enter the giveaway for your chance to WIN a copy of The Sand Pounder!