On Wings of the Morning
Long-time Manassas resident Dan Verner is debuting his first novel, On Wings of the Morning, with a book launch party on Saturday, November 23 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Manassas Baptist Church, 8730 Sudley Road, Manassas. The event is open to the public.
Verner retired in 2003 after more than thirty years teaching literature and writing to high school and adult students. Since then he has written more than 1,000 columns, articles, short pieces and poems for local publications and his own blog, Biscuit City, http://ltdanverner.com. In addition, he runs a freelance writing, editing and consulting business. Many local residents know Verner through his part in the performances of the Manassas Chorale, and as a parishioner at Manassas Baptist Church. He is married to Becky Verner and has two adult daughters, Amy and Alyssa.
On Wings of the Morning follows the life of Otto Kerchner, a Wisconsin farm boy in the 1930s who fulfills his dream of learning to fly and becomes a B-17 pilot in World War II. Kerchner is badly burned in a crash landing, but overcomes this tragedy and other heartaches to find acceptance and love in the post-war world.
“I wrote the book out of an interest in the air war during World War II and a deep respect for the veterans who served and sacrificed so much to ensure freedom and dignity for the people of the earth,” says Verner.
When he’s not writing, Verner helps care for his father, 88-year-old Clyde Verner, a World War II veteran. Verner dedicated the book to his father and other war veterans, both in the field and at home.
“My dad, like so many others, lied about his age to enlist in 1943,” Verner shares. “He served in the China-Burma-India Theater, where the troops called themselves ‘the F.B.I.,’ which stood for ‘Forgotten Bast#@ds in India.’ They were at the end of the supply line, so they didn’t get what the troops in the European Theater of Operations and Pacific Theater of Operations had.
“They made my dad a truck and ambulance driver, probably to keep him off the front lines because of his age. But ferrying equipment and supplies over the Burma and Lido roads was a life-threatening challenge as well, due to the extreme weather (monsoons) and the poor condition of the roads.”
Verner’s brother, Ron, worked as an airline pilot for Delta Airlines for 27 years and provided valuable information and advice about the aviation parts of the novel.
“Ron and I tease Dad because he never took a driving test. Still, after the war, he was able to parlay his military permit and obtain a Tennessee driver’s license and a job as a cab driver. He also drove streetcars for Capitol Transit in D.C., and later buses. He still talks about waving to President Harry Truman as he came out of the White House for his daily walks.”
On Wings of the Morning is the first in a six-book series entitled Beyond the Blue Horizon: The Story of an American Hero Verner is working on. He has finished the manuscript for the second in the series, On the Wings of the Wind, and just completed Book Three, On the Wings of Angels. He plans to start Book Four, On the Wings of Grace, in January.
On Wings of the Morning (eLectio Publishing, 2013) is available in print and e-edition at Amazon.com. Verner is also hosting a book launch party on Saturday, November 23 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Manassas Baptist Church, 8730 Sudley Road, Manassas. The event is open to the public.