Tag: award

The Darkwater Liar’s Account as The Next Big Thing

Thanks to Kourtney Heintz for nominating me for The Next Big Thing blog award. She has inspired me to keep standing up when rejections smack me down. Thanks, Coach. I look forward to reading some of your work soon.

What is the title of your Work in Progress? The Darkwater Liar’s Account

Where did the idea come from for the book? About four years ago, I read about yet another Nazi who’d been hiding since WWII under a secret identity, only to be brought to trial in his last years. I realized that there must be many people still alive who cooperated in Hitler’s Germany to varying degrees, people who go on with their lives and never admit their involvement.

What genre does your book fall under? Commercial, historical fiction with literary value (I’d like to think so.)

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? I would love Cate Blanchett to play the main character, Bridget, and Ryan Gosling as her adult son, Erich. Yes, I have a vivid and specific fantasy life. But that’s a good thing, right?

 What is a one-sentence synopsis of the book? After crossing a continent, an ocean and two decades, Bridget lives a lie to hide her Nazi complicity during WWII, but the truth still breathes, and worse, it intends to kill her.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? That is a very good question. We are all still deciding, but I’m not getting any younger…

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? There was much to research, so it took three years.

What other books would you compare this story to in your genre? Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay and Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum

Who or what inspired you to write this book? As in my own life, when a person is young, it’s easy to rush in, to make unwise commitments without foreseeing the consequences. That doesn’t mean there are none. We live with what we chose in our youth and redemption can be elusive, even fatal.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? The novel follows Bridget from 1930s London, through Germany from 1936-1945, then into Nebraska through 1968. I use actual excerpts from my late grandmother’s early 20th-century accounts ledger as a device and structure where Bridget chooses to settle her own “account.”

My nominees, based on my love for their current work and my curiosity about their WIPs:

Anna Solomon I just read her novel, The Little Bride. Wow! A great historical work about Russian Jewish immigrant settlement in Dakota territory.

Nichole Bernier Her new novel, The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D, moves the mind and heart to consider loss, friendship, parenting and marriage.

The Writer’s Life Jenna Blum has two great novels available now, Those Who Save Us and The Stormchasers. I’ve read and love both.

Unreliable Narrator I’ve read Dell Smith’s work on Beyond the Margins. I love his insights on story and writing.

Word Love Randy Susan Meyers’ novel, The Murderer’s Daughters took my breath away with her bold tale of the everyday horror of childhood amid and after domestic violence. I see on her blog that another novel is coming soon.

Be sure to visit these blogs. These authors are worth your reading time. And thanks again, Kourtney.

Surprise and Gratitude

Kourtney Heintz is a writer and blogger I recently “met” online, a person of generosity and insight. Today I found a great surprise, that she, having received the Awesome Blog Content Award, has passed it on to me and other bloggers whom she particularly appreciates. This illustrates the universal truth that even if you half-sleep through a migraine all night, things just might get better in the morning.

So thank you, Kourtney, for what you share through your writing and for plucking me up to your level for appreciation.

In the spirit of the ABC award, here is my version of me-as-alphabet soup. As I have learned from my predecessors, some artistic license is permitted. In that spirit, I will offer my ABCs as a memoir of the most surprising things that made my life better… after the initial shock, wore off, that is.

A – Asthma and Allergies. These almost killed me in my childhood, but my mother wouldn’t allow it.

B – Birth to Beverly, that very mother who smacked the Angel of Death upside the head more than once, to keep me breathing. Oh yes, she did. I saw her, and the Angel was surprised, too.

C – Chocolate. Supposedly allergic to it as a child, I embrace it now as my drug of choice with no adverse reactions.

D – David, my husband, who gets me and keeps me anyway.

E – Elementary school, which turned out to be a thinly-disguised field of hand-to-hand combat.

F – Franklin, Nebraska. A dinky little town and the template for my imaginative universe, from its corn fields to its mourning doves to the pinball machine at the Frosty Mug Drive-In.

G – Grandparents. Loving, vivid characters. I hope I’ll be as interesting to my own grandlings.

H – Hospitals. Once my nemesis, but as a PA, I learned things during surgeries, ER and patient care that still blow my mind and fuel my fiction.

I – Iowa. I didn’t like it much until I moved here seven years ago. It’s beautiful and the joy is in the company I’m keeping.

J – Joy, again. See “D” and “I”.

K – Kourtney, who not only has the style to spell her name in a surprising way, but also surprised this fledgling blogger, with this award.

L – Love in mid-life. See “D” for details.

M – Mortality. I was in denial for a long time, but I’m getting the picture. Not so scary, after all.

N – Novels. I can’t stop trying to write a beautiful one, no matter how many rejections I receive.

O – Obstinate and obsessive. See “N”.

P – Pain. There’s more than I expected and there’s no doubt that more is coming. It’s just being human…

Q – Quiet, unless provoked.

R – Reader, of course.

S – Snakes. I know they exist, but each one scares me as if it’s the first one earth. They keep me on my toes.

T – Teaching. I actually liked it, except for the student with a black belt in karate who threatened to hurt me if I didn’t give him a good grade. Guess who flunked my class? It’s called the last laugh and empowered women have it. A life lesson for you there, Bud.

U – Universities. So exciting I almost developed a graduate school disorder, popping into one and then another to study something new. My heart still beats faster if I crack open a new textbook.

V – Vagaries. Life is enhanced by surprises and exceptions.

W – The World Wide Web. Whose idea Was this, anyWay? (Hush, Al Gore. Nobody’s buying it.) I’ve connected with and recovered more people and words than I can count with it. Just today I retrieved a dear and long-lost family member. See “J”.

X – Xerophilia. The love of deserts, specifically, northwestern New Mexico. If I’m ever missing, look for me along Rio Chama, near Abiquiu.

Y – Yens. I’ve learned to follow them, even if they seem absurd. Maybe especially, if so.

Z – Zillions. There are that many kind and generous people out there, if you sift out the jerks. I find new ones every day. Kind people, not jerks. 🙂

Thanks again, Kourtney. As an upstart blogger wending my way through cyberspace, I will pass on the honor as you have done.