Sunday, April 20, 2014

The most frequent questions

I've had the good fortune to take part in a number of book signings, and I've presented my historical research in front of more than 100 people now. Audiences have varied in age and size, but I find I'm being asked three questions at almost every event. I'll try to answer them here in installments.

1. Did you always want to be a writer/ write a book?
As a young girl, I did want to write stories. Even then, I was fascinated by the way stories and characters stayed with me, and I wanted to be able to have my ideas impact other people that way. Experiencing a story for me has always been close to experiencing it first-hand - I feel emotions, learn lessons, cheer for heroic actions, and weep over sad endings. Through reading historical fiction and stories set in distant lands, I've come to understand that people through history and around the world are pretty much the same.
So yes, I did want to write when I was a kid. But I also wanted to be a ballerina and to travel the world in a hot air balloon. Turns out I'm a klutz and not fond of heights, so those things didn't happen. And even though I loved creative writing class in high school, I never pursued it in my college or career  plans. I went to college to learn a skill to get a job, not to pursue an interest which would I thought would never earn me a living.

Once my own kids were grown and I had time for personal interests, I found that I still liked to write. In fact, the more I did it, the more I liked it. No, I loved it. Now, a perfect day for me involves some coffee, a good dose of sunshine, and a couple hours of writing.

Why would a nice person like you write about Nazi Germany?

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