By ROBERT PIERCE
• Daily Leader
Sherrilyn Polf was born during World War II and spent time in Germany with her husband, Dewey, during the Vietnam War.
The Tyrone, Okla., resident and author uses those personal experiences to provide the prose and poetry in much of her work.
Polf recently announced the release of her first novel, “A Matter of Trust,” the story of Colorado teenager Dena Caulter, who upon arriving at Stanford University during World War II, feels her rustic roots showing but easily adapts to the more sophisticated lifestyle in California.
“She’s wanting to leave home and wants to strike out on her own and get away from mommy and daddy’s rules,” Polf said. “In that era, you just didn’t go. She went to California to be with family.”
In California, Caulter meets her aunt and uncle, both of whom work at Stanford.
“The uncle is an engineer professor, and the aunt works in the offices,” Polf said. “She gets involved in the engineering part with her uncle and meets engineers who are working at Stanford and Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Va., and also with Howard Hughes.”
This is when Caulter becomes involved in aeronautics.
“She finds that she not only enjoys this part of her life, being on her own learning about a field she didn’t even know existed until she got there, but also that she really needed her mother and father’s teachings,” Polf said. “That was the coming of age for her.”
“A Matter of Trust” is the first in a series of three books about Caulter, and this is Polf’s first fiction book.
“The second one is about two-thirds done,” she said. “I’m hoping if everything goes right with the book signings, I’ll have it in by the end of summer.”
Polf has always written, mainly concentrating on poetry and short stories.
“When I was in school, English was my favorite with the writing part of it,” she said. “I’ve loved creating. I loved words. I’ve written all my life. I’ve had poetry published and a couple of articles. I worked for a paper for two and a half years.”
Polf added she has always enjoyed the history of World War II.
“My husband was in Vietnam, which gave me war experience being the wife of a vet,” she said. “I’ve always enjoyed watching movies on World War II. It was an era I was born in, and I grew up in the post era of it.”
Polf explained the chronology of the “A Matter of Trust” series.
“This one is from June 1939 to June 1940,” she said. “The second book picks up in August 1940, runs to October 1941. The third one picks up at Pearl Harbor. It’s all the same characters. It’s all working with the engineers who work with Hughes Aeronautics and what they’re doing and her experience learning all this. She eventually becomes an engineer with them.”
Polf’s book is distributed by Tate Publishing, and she also has children’s manuscripts the company has asked for.
“There may be other books,” she said. “I haven’t thought about them, yet. My object right now is to get these done. There could be. I’m really enjoying the fact that I’m retired and I can write.”
Polf has a book signing from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday in Hugoton at the Stevens County Library and two on March 20 in Liberal – one from 10 a.m. to noon at Memorial Library and one from 2 to 4 p.m. at Hastings.
“We go to Grove, Okla., to the Civil War enactment and book signing on the 27th,” she said. “I’m booked until June right now and looking for more. It’s exciting.”