The Atlanta launch of “A Gathering of Men: A WWII Novel,” the latest novel by author and historian Rona Simmons, will be on Sunday, February 20 from 4-5:30 p.m. at Bookmiser, 3822 Roswell Road, Marietta.
A work of historical fiction, “A Gathering of Men” is based on the true story of a B-17 bomber pilot of the legendary 100th Bomb Group in England during World War II. It tells of shattered dreams and the enduring friendship, duty and honor between pilots and their air and ground crews.
Simmons is an Atlanta-area author whose first published works were novels and mostly works of historical fiction set in the first half of the last century, including “Postcards from Wonderland” and “The Quiet Room.”
In 2016, she met and befriended artist and World War II veteran Jack Smith. Together they produced the book “Images from World War II: The Art of Jack Smith”, celebrating the art of the nonagenarian. Simmons then followed with “Other WWII Veterans: Stories From Behind the Front Lines,” which recently received a Gold Medal from the Military Writers Society of America.
For his new book, “A Gathering of Men,” Simmons combined his interest in the World War II era and his passion for history and research to tell another story with another unique perspective on war. This time the tale is historical fiction, but based on a true story and countless hours spent in the library, online, in interviews and in our country’s WWII museum archives.
Simmons is a frequent speaker on World War II and veteran stories. Her stories, articles and interviews have appeared in literary journals and online magazines, as well as in local newspapers. As a volunteer, she has given her time and expertise to the Georgia Council for the Arts and the Gilmer Arts Council and was co-director of the Milton Literary Festival.
Simmons currently acts as a contributing editor for two military-related organizations supporting reading and lifelong learning and preserving veterans’ stories.