Interview with Bruce Laidlaw

What's the story behind your latest book?
Through The Warriors' Eyes is a chronology of World War II in Europe illustrated by the photographs of those who fought there. My wife's father had painful memories of the war and talked of his experiences very little. When he died, a drawer full of things he brought back from the war was found. A box labeled "Captured German photographs" and several German cameras were given to me. They had been confiscated from German prisoners of war.

When I was being photographed for an article I wrote, I mentioned the cameras to the photographer. He collected old cameras and was interested in buying them. When he came to look at the cameras, I showed him the photographs. I felt that some must have been taken with the old cameras. He said he thought I had an important collection showing what the German soldiers saw during the war.

There was writing in German on the backs of many of the photographs. On some there was writing that was an attempt to translate to English. Although the translations were not always accurate, they did help identify many of the scenes depicted. I circulated copies of the photographs among several people who had much knowledge of military history. With the translations and consultations, I was able to determine that photos covered a period from the war's start with the invasion of Poland through to the disastrous invasion of Russia.

In scrapbooks from my father-in-law's estate, I found photographs he had taken when he was a tank commander during the liberation of France. I also found letters he sent home during the war and letters of commendation. I began researching the history of the war and realized how little I had learned in all of my history courses. In the summer of 2013, I visited with Chet Kennedy. He had been a close friend of my father-in-law and was a fellow tank commander. He provided helpful details regarding their war activity.

Using all the information and images I had collected, I put together an illustrated history and decided to publish it as an ebook.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle Paper-white. I can read it in any light and I can carry it in my pocket.
Describe your desk
My desk is covered with electronics including a couple of video monitors, keyboards, and a scanner. I try to keep it from being covered with paper, but sometimes I lose that battle.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I enjoy entertaining my friends with my short stories. Some day, I hope to assemble them in a work I can offer to a wider audience.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I practice a little law, run, read and play badminton.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
My wife's Kindle library is huge. I can usually browse through her library and find an ideal ebook.
What was your first job after you finished law school.
I joined a large Detroit law firm. The lawyers I worked under did their best to have me write hard to read legalese. But I resisted and have always tried to use plain English. The Plain English Committee of the Michigan State Bar has twice provided me with Clarity Awards.
Published 2014-05-07.
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Books by This Author

Through The Warriors' Eyes
You set the price! Words: 10,680. Language: English. Published: May 28, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » History » War
Through The Warriors’ Eyes is an illustrated history of World War II in Europe. The war is seen through 66 photographs. 61 of the photographs were taken by those fighting in the war and have never before been published.