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text 2018-06-12 14:52
New release: Author interview with Ken Goldstein & "From Nothing" Review Copies

 

We're happy to introduce you Ken Goldstein. Author of This Is Rage, Endless Encores, and From Nothing; and entrepreneur, adviser and a chairman at ThriftBooks & Good Men Project.

 

Ken talked with us about his brand new business suspense novel From Nothing, writing plans and inspirations. Read our interview to get to know the author better. 

 

For those of you who'd like to request a review copy of Ken's newest title From Nothing, please sign up. The author will send a signed paperback to five lucky bloggers. Good luck! 

 

 

 

What are you reading now Ken? 

 

I’m getting ready for a service project in Cape Town, South Africa, where I will be working with entrepreneurs, so I’m reading Kasinomics: African Informal Economies and the People Who Inhabit Them. It’s a fascinating portrait of storefront marketplace dynamics, common-sense marketing and the role of human connectivity in commerce. I just finished Dan Rather’s What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism, which I think is a must-read for all Americans given the turmoil of our times. Next up for me is David Mamet’s Chicago: A Novel of Prohibition, which I’ll probably read crossing the Atlantic.

 

Kasinomics: African Informal Economies and the People Who Inhabit Them - Vivien AlcockWhat Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism - Dan Rather,Elliot KirschnerChicago: A Novel - David Mamet

 

 

Tell us a few words about yourself - whatever you want to share about your personal and professional life, but also how does an entrepreneur become a writer?

 

This is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness - Ken GoldsteinThe truth is, it’s the opposite: I’m a writer who became a business guy and then later returned to writing with my first novel This is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness. The first decade of my career was all about writing, including being part of some of the first real storytelling efforts in computer games. As my career evolved, I found that my business skills became more valuable to the companies where I was involved, and so I eventually stopped writing to focus on company leadership. After many years absent from my place at the keyboard, I returned to my original passion for words about eight years ago, and now I split my time between writing and advising highly creative companies.

 

 

Was there one event that inspired your decision to become a writer?

 

I think it’s like anything else: You try to do something out of curiosity, and people tell you they like your work and want more, so you feel compelled to study your craft. Reading was pretty much my whole life as a kid, and writers to me were the superheroes who delivered justice in the form of philosophical thought bombs and sometimes really clever jokes.

 

I wrote a few plays prior to college that seemed to catch on, and people would tell me they couldn’t wait for my next one, so I sat down and tried to do it again. I discovered that if I read and wrote every day, I would get better at it, and as I got better at it, I became obsessed with wanting to become really good at it. That’s when I discovered that writing is more process than arrival, and as such, it’s an inexhaustible channel for passion. I thought I was obsessed with the craft as a very young person. Now I’m truly obsessed, and it remains something I can do for the rest of my life and never stop learning or improving.

 

 

You’re a busy man being an adviser, entrepreneur, mentor and a leader in many of your projects. I can imagine that your life experiences helped you a lot in writing your books as all of your titles give a reader a look behind the curtain of how corporate business operates in America. Or was it on the contrary and the knowledge disturbed your fictional story to emerge? 

 

The advice most writing teachers pound into you – write what you know – carries a lot of truth. Yet there’s a piece of advice that I think is even more profound. One of your challenges and opportunities as a writer is to take your readers to places they might not otherwise get to visit. Not a lot of people get to sit in on a corporate board meeting. Not a lot of people have daily access to captains of industry. A lot of what people think about the business world is wrong, because the people writing the stories haven’t been in the right rooms to impose a layer of authenticity on the everyday absurdities of wealth, power and the enormous struggles below the surface. When I realized I had that access as well as the ability to make it interesting to people who love fiction, I saw a unique opportunity I could pursue. Making it real and making it a good story require a reasonably unique approach to the material, and I decided I would put my all into trying to pull off that challenge.

 

 

Your third and the newest title will be released June 12th 2018. Please tell our readers more about From Nothing: A Novel of Technology, Bar Music and Redemption

 

It’s truly the most personal of my three novels. From Nothing is certainly born in the From Nothing: A Novel of Technology, Bar Music and Redemption - Ken Goldstein  business world, but it traverses to my deep love of music, and from there attempts a meditation at what in our lives matter and what we are willing to do to realize the core truth of ourselves.

 

It takes readers behind the scenes of the tech world, behind the scenes of the classic rock music world; but in the end it’s the life story of one man, Victor Selo, trying to make sense of the choices he has made and still needs to make to put the earliest turmoil of his life behind him. Victor wants to grow – needs to grow – but he can’t help but keep getting in his own way when faced with the extraordinary pressure of high-stakes decision-making.

 

No matter how many times he learns the lesson – that we discover ourselves in the creativity of beginning anew – he is torn by the traps of outward pressures and enticements. He has to learn with absolute certainty that beginning “from nothing” is not a punishment, but a gift of discovery.

 

 

 

Your previous book Endless Encores is a guide book on how to succeed in business. Does it correspond to the success in the publishing world as well? 

 

There is an enormous paradox in that question. I know a lot about marketing and have been reasonably successful at it over the years, but marketing yourself as a writer is a much trickier proposition. I can work with a team of professionals to build an omniscient value proposition in a product line and fund its success by measuring the analytics in various tactical investments, but my sense is that in storytelling, people need to find the voices that move them much more organically, through friendship and word of mouth.

 

Endless Encores: Repeating Success through People, Products, and Profits - Ken GoldsteinAll of the basic principles in Endless Encores: Repeating Success Through People, Products, and Profits apply, but the core proposition of Endless Encores is that there is no success without failure; succumbing to copy a previous success is the plight of the one-hit wonder, and no one gets to predict their successes and failures. Add the notion of art to that premise and you enter a realm where success is almost exclusively in the control of the audience.

 

 

What are your writing plans? Do you actually have any at this point, right before the release of your third book, or will you start making plans once it's out? 

 

I find that the last phase of writing a book, final editing and proofing, is less arduous on the creative mind than the earlier phases of composition and revision, which for me has meant a time of hunger for innovation. Over the last year, I have put that energy to work on a new novel, become increasingly focused on developing the story, characters and thematic elements I want to explore. That early work is now on the shelf fermenting into the wine hopefully it will someday become. I know what the next book is about; I just don’t know the timetable for delivering it or all the side paths that will intersect the arc.

 

 

All of your fiction books are business suspense fiction. Do you consider changing the genre or will you follow the writing path? 

 

I’m not sure. My next book is definitely in the business suspense fiction genre. I think my voice is strong there and as yet not exhausted. Might I kick myself out of my comfort zone and try something else? I’m not ruling it out. There are lots of things I’d like to write about, but only a few I feel I know well enough to deliver on authenticity.

 

Whatever I write, I just want to be certain there is more to the story and characters than the material on the surface. I want to encourage people to think about the issues and circumstances of these characters’ lives as they apply to the complexity of the world around us. That’s my keen interest: driving a dialogue of comparable situations that might cause readers to rethink some of their most pressing personal decisions as their lives intersect with others.

 

 

Please tell us about your day and your writing habits. Do you write every day, and for how long? And how do you combine your “day job” with writing?

 

I get asked this a lot and I have to admit I am the absolute worst person to ask. I have tried everything imaginable to create a discipline in my life around my writing time and my not-writing time. Nothing works for me. I usually have to force myself to focus on tuning out everything that is not writing in order to write. Because I have a number of business interests, I have a smorgasbord of opportunities to procrastinate on silent time at the keyboard. Then the muse will sing, the mood will hit me and I’ll knock out 4,000 words. The next day I may cough up a sentence, the next day I may edit the four thousand words. If I were better at this, I could tell you when a book will be done, but I am just awful at it and I don’t seem to get any better.

 

 

Who are your favorite authors and genres? Have they influenced you and in what way?

 

I have written at length about Tom Wolfe, who recently passed away. His work (both non-fiction and fiction) taught me what a story should be. The entire notion of New Journalism and the social novel were to me a call to emerging voices to write about stuff that matters. There’s a glass-encased picture of Shakespeare on my desk because if you want to learn how dialogue and poetry create voice in epic storytelling, the Bard is the high-water mark. I love everything that Anne Lamott writes because she embodies the notion of heart. Kurt Andersen is perpetually brilliant, particularly at weaving irony into the complex human problems we all face. Many forms of thoughtful humor built from observation resonate for me, and rounding out the list would be Mark Twain (honesty), Charles Dickens (serialization), Samuel Beckett (isolation), Lenny Bruce (courage) and George Carlin (originality). I also seem to read almost everything written about The Beatles and the sport of professional baseball, looking for clues in both for the perfection of craft.

 

If you, or any of your readers would like to learn any more about me please feel free to visit my site: http://kengoldsteinauthor.com/.

 

Ken Goldstein books on BookLikes: 

(click the book covers to add to your bookshelf)

This is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness - Ken GoldsteinEndless Encores: Repeating Success through People, Products, and Profits - Ken GoldsteinFrom Nothing: A Novel of Technology, Bar Music and Redemption - Ken Goldstein

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text 2018-05-14 19:46
New release: Author interview with Nick Sullivan & 3 "Deep Shadow" Giveaways

 

Nick Sullivan has spent most of his adult life as an actor in New York City, working in theater, television, film, and audiobooks. After narrating hundreds of books over the last twenty years, he decided to write his own. His newest title Deep Shadow, a first installment in Caribbean Dive Adventures series, has been release in April 2018.

 

Read our interview to get to know the author, and enter the giveaway contests to win a signed paperback or an audiobook copy of Deep Shadow (narrated by the author himself!). 

 

Deep Shadow by Nick Sullivan -THREE GIVEAWAYS

MAY 14 - MAY 30, 2018

Deep Shadow - Nick Sullivan

In the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, something lethal is on the move.

Scuba divers travel from all over the world to visit the little island of Bonaire, with its crystal-clear waters and a host of beautiful marine life. After three years in the “Divers Paradise”, divemaster Boone Fischer thought he’d seen it all; but on a routine afternoon dive, he spots something that will turn his tranquil life upside down.

From the arid shores of the ABC Islands to the tropical jungles of Venezuela—from the ocean depths of the Southern Caribbean, to the lush islands of the Northern Leewards, Deep Shadow takes Boone and the reader on an action-packed adventure filled with danger and suspense.

 

  

 

You are an actor, author and narrator - which of the three do you enjoy doing the most, or identify with? Can you make that choice? 

 
The answer to that really does change day by day... if I'm on stage or doing a shoot on a TV show, I'm in full actor mode... well, that's not true lol. When I shot an episode of "Bull" I had just run a promo for my first book, Zombie Bigfoot. I kept checking my phone for sales every time they turned off the camera lol. Narration is something I love dearly and when I'm in the booth I'm not thinking of anything else. Unless I start getting hungry.
 

After narrating over 400 audiobooks (!!) you made the choice to write your own book! How did that happen? Was there one event that inspired your decision to become a writer as well? 
 
I think the choice to try my hand at writing came in several stages: A. I've narrated so many books and was inspired by great writers (and was also inspired by some bad writing... figuring, well if THAT can get published...)
B. I had dabbled with writing screenplays (Zombie Bigfoot is a novelization of one of mine) and knew I enjoyed that form of writing.
C. I've narrated for some new authors and watched their careers flourish, and learned a few tricks from them as far as writing, marketing, and publishing went.
And D. I've made some great contacts in the book world from my narration work, and it finally struck me that I'd be crazy not to dive in and give it a try. You only live once!

 

What is it like to write your own book when you have read and acted out so many others, most of them probably quite famous - is it intimidating? 
 
Not really. I've read some early works by big names and have learned "everybody has to start somewhere". Every author evolves and I'm no different. Right now, I'm fairly new... but I'm loving every minute of it.
 

Tell us about your books - the first one seems quite different from the second, you've started two different series, isn't that right? 
 
Zombie Bigfoot (Creature Quest Series Book 1) - Nick SullivanYes... the two books are verrrrrrry different. And yet, I think a similar style is present in both. I realize if you want to make money you should establish a brand and stick with it... but I love to read all sorts of books and right now I just want to write whatever speaks to me. I had a blast with "Zombie Bigfoot"... a creature feature with a hefty amount of comedy baked into the pie—"horror", but a lot of action adventure too (like a Crichton novel, or "Jaws"). One reviewer said it reminded them of the action adventure writing of Preston and Child.
 
At the time I was narrating a lot of action adventure for a coupleDeep Shadow - Nick Sullivan  writers and I've been an avid scuba diver for almost as long as I've been narrating audibooks— so when another idea I'd had for a screenplay pushed itself into my brain, I decided to set ZBF's sequel aside and dive in to "Deep Shadow". (But worry not, "Zombie Billionaire" is about a third done). "Deep Shadow" has all sorts of elements I enjoy as a reader and narrator: action, adventure, and suspense in a tropical setting... some colorful characters, multi-dimensional villains, and some pretty good twists!

What are your writing plans? Do you actually have any at this point, right before the release of your second novel, or will you start making plans once it's out? 
 
At the moment I'm focused on making the launch week a success but I'll be back to writing next week. I have a complete storyboard for the ZBF sequel, and a fairly good idea what I'm going to do with the followup to "Deep Shadow". Actually, I'm taking a scuba trip to the island "Deep Shadow" ends on, which is where the sequel will begin. And in August, I'll be taking a writing retreat to Bonaire, where "Deep Shadow" starts! And I'll be narrating and auditioning for TV and film too... one day at a time!
 
 
Do you have any long-term goals as a writer? Maybe a certain number of books you would like to write within a specific amount of time?
 
I wish I could write more quickly, but with so many irons in the fire, it's difficult to say what sort of writing schedule I can expect from myself. I would like to get to where I can write one book in each of these series each year (one every six months) On the other hand... there's that fantasy book that I storyboarded... no!! Gonna stick with these for now!

Who are your favorite authors and genres? Have they influenced you and in what way? 
 
I love fantasy, sci-fi, horror, historical fiction, technothrillers, mystery, suspense, and thrillers. Favorite authors: Carl Hiassen: I narrated one of his books and loved his supremely broad characters.
Stephen King: probably the first "adult" novels I read were his. King's primary inspiration to me is the craft of writing itself—"On Writing" was excellent.  
Patrick Rothfuss: Absolutely loved The Name of the Wind. And I was taken with how he played with time in his narrative. And I'd have to admit that many great television shows and movies have inspired my writing.
 
More than one reviewer has commented that my books read like cinema. One person said of the "Zombie Bigfoot" audiobook: "It's like Netflix for the ear!" I think it was meant as a compliment...

 

Follow Nick Sullivan on BookLikes: http://wyp.booklikes.com

 

Nick Sullivan's book on BookLikes:

Zombie Bigfoot (Creature Quest Series Book 1) - Nick SullivanDeep Shadow - Nick Sullivan

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text 2018-05-09 19:13
Interview with best-selling historical fiction author Tony Riches + "Mary-Tudor Princess" Giveaway

 

 

Today we welcome UK author Tony Riches, best known for his Tudor Trilogy. Read our interview where Tony reveals what his next book will be about and why he writes historical fiction.

 

Tony also runs a giveaway for BookLikes readers -- don't miss a chance to win his newest title Mary-Tudor Princess

 

Win Mary - Tudor Princess by Tony Riches 

Enter the e-book giveaway

Mary - Tudor Princess - Tony RichesFrom the author of the international best-selling Tudor Trilogy, the true story of the Tudor dynasty continues with the daughter of King Henry VII, sister to King Henry VIII. Mary Tudor watches her elder brother become King of England and wonders what the future holds for her. 

Born into great privilege, Mary has beauty and intelligence beyond her years and is the most marriageable princess in Europe. Henry plans to use her marriage to build a powerful alliance against his enemies. Will she dare risk his anger by marrying for love?

Meticulously researched and based on actual events, this 'sequel' follows Mary's story from book three of the Tudor Trilogy and is set during the reign of King Henry VIII.

 

Request your copy 

 

Everyone loves the Tudors. What new angle are you bringing to historical fiction readers about the Tudor era?

 

I was born in Pembroke, within sight of the castle where Henry Tudor was born, so I’ve always been keen to know more about how he became King of England. Like most people I knew all about Henry VIII and his six wives, but very little about the life of his father – or grandfather. I’ve now become an expert on the Tudor dynasty and want to help readers understand the true stories behind the myths.

 

 

How do you balance historical accuracy with compelling story telling?

 

They say the events of history can be stranger than anything you could make up. I know from readers that they appreciate my hard work to keep my books as factually accurate as possible. The early Tudors were of course surrounded by servants and people such as clerics and physicians whose lives are lost to history, so there is plenty of scope to be creative. I find it particularly useful to have a ‘sidekick’ or companion for my main characters, as it helps provide the interaction and conflict of the storytelling.

 

 

How does setting influence your stories?

 

I enjoy visiting the actual locations in my books to have a real understanding of the setting. My research has taken me to some amazing places. I followed the footsteps of Jasper and Henry Tudor through the secret tunnels under the town of Tenby in West Wales, to their exile in remote Brittany, and visited Henry’s magnificent tomb in Westminster Abbey.

 

REQUEST YOUR COPY

 

 

Please tell us about your latest book, MARY –Tudor Princess.

 

Mary - Tudor Princess - Tony RichesI researched Mary Tudor’s early life for my last book, Henry – Book Three of the Tudor Trilogy.

 

In the Tudor Trilogy I’d moved forward one generation with each book, so it appealed to me to write a ‘sequel’ which did the same. I’d become intrigued with Mary’s story of how she risked everything to defy her brother, King Henry VIII, and marry for love.

 

 

What are you working on now?

 

When I was writing about Mary Tudor I researched the life of her second husband, Sir Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, and visited his tomb at Windsor Castle. He was Henry VIII’s best friend and a champion jouster and adventurer, leading an army into France even though he had no military experience. Then he breaks his promise to Henry and secretly marries Mary. I’m now writing Brandon – Tudor Knight, which will tell the story from his point of view.

 

 

Where can readers buy your books?

 

All my books are exclusive to Amazon and available worldwide in eBook and paperback. The Tudor Trilogy is also available as audiobooks and an audiobook edition of Mary – Tudor Princess is currently in production.

 

Mary - Tudor Princess - Tony RichesOwen: Book One of the Tudor Trilogy - Tony RichesJasper: Book Two of The Tudor Trilogy - Tony RichesHenry - Book Three of the Tudor Trilogy - Tony Riches

 

About the Author

 

Tony Riches is a full-time author of best-selling historical fiction. He lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and is a specialist in the fifteenth century, with a particular interest in the Wars of the Roses and the lives of the early Tudors. Tony was a finalist in the 2017 Amazon Storyteller Awards and is listed 130th in the 2018 Top 200 list of the Most Influential Authors in in the World. For more information about Tony’s books please visit his website tonyriches.com and his popular blog, The Writing Desk and find him on Booklikes at The Reading Desk,  Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches.

 

Follow Tony Riches' blog on BookLikes: http://tonyriches.booklikes.com/

 

 

 

Tony Riches' books on BookLikes

Owen: Book One of the Tudor Trilogy - Tony RichesThe Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham - Tony RichesWarwick: The Man Behind The Wars of the Roses - Tony RichesJasper: Book Two of The Tudor Trilogy - Tony RichesThe Shell - Tony RichesAGILE Project Management for Busy Managers - Tony RichesPersonal Productivity For Busy Managers - Tony RichesMary - Tudor Princess - Tony Riches

... and more on the author page

 

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url 2018-05-04 10:05
TV interview with Nuit Yoga Science and AoM Mindfulness Training Books
Conscious Parenting: Mindful Living Course for Parents - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Art of 4 Elements - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Mindful Eating with Delicious Raw Vegan Recipes - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Tree of Life - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Chanting Mantras with Best Chords - Nataša Pantović Nuit
A-Ma Alchemy of Love - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Mindful Being - Nataša Pantović Nuit
Conscious Creativity: Mindfulness Meditations - Nataša Pantović Nuit

Yoga Science and Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training Books.

 

This Net TV Interview with the author Nataša Pantović Nuit is about Yoga as Science or Mysticism and mindfulness training that has 100s of spiritual transformation tools designed to help the explorer live his / her highest potential. Discover why practice Yoga and what are the tools yogis used 1,000s of years ago for the benefit of mind, body and soul. How does meditation and yoga fit into today's world? Is there a connection between the development of Eastern and Western Spiritual Science?

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text 2018-04-30 18:37
New release: Author interview with Kathryn Atwood & "Courageous Women of the Vietnam War" Giveaway

 

Kathryn Atwood is the author of many nonfiction books about war, targeted at teens and young adults. Her newest title, Courageous Women of the Vietnam War: Medics, Journalists, Survivors, and More (Women of Action), will be released tomorrow, on May 1!

 

Read our BookLikes interview and get to know the author, who tells us all about her writing, how she got started, and what interests her in the topic of war. Enter our giveaway contest to win one out of 5 e-books that Kathryn has so generously provided for BookLikes readers!

 

Win Courageous Women of the Vietnam War

Giveaway Apr. 30 - May 20, 2018

Enter to win

Courageous Women of the Vietnam War: Medics, Journalists, Survivors, and More (Women of Action) - Kathryn J. Atwood,Diane Carlson Evans

One of just a handful of women reporting on the Vietnam War, Kate Webb was captured by North Vietnamese troops and presumed dead—until she emerged from the jungle waving a piece of white parachute material after 23 days in captivity. Le Ly Hayslip enjoyed a peaceful early childhood in a Vietnamese farming village before war changed her life forever. Brutalized by all sides, she escaped to the United States, where she eventually founded two humanitarian organizations. Lynda Van Devanter was an idealistic young nurse in 1969 when a plane carrying her and 350 men landed in South Vietnam. Her harrowing experiences working in a combat zone hospital would later serve as inspiration for the TV series China Beach

In these pages readers meet these and other brave women and girls who served in life-threatening roles as medics, journalists, resisters, and revolutionaries in the conflict in Vietnam...

REQUEST YOUR E-BOOK

 

Tell us a few words about yourself - whatever you want to share about your personal and professional life, but also why you decided to become a writer.

 

I’m a vocalist, music historian (historysingers.com), and piano teacher, and the latter vocation serendipitously led to my becoming an author. I was teaching at the Steckman Studio in Oak Park, IL, when I met Lisa Reardon, a parent who also happened to be an acquisitions editor for the Chicago Review Press. Lisa is no longer with CRP but her wonderful influence can be seen in all of my books.

 

I first discovered my passion for putting pen to paper while in college. I started out as a history major with an English lit minor then switched halfway through. When I finally allowed myself the time to develop as a writer I wrote poems and essays for some quirky lit journals while reviewing history books and biographies for two review sites. Then I met Lisa.

 

 

What inspired you to write about wars? It seems like such a difficult topic, even more so as you've written about many wars: World War I, World War II the Vietnam War ... what is it about the topic of war that interests you?

 

I’ve been fascinated by World War II since I was a teenager when I watched a show called “World at War” with my WWII Army Air Corps vet dad. The Hiding Place came to theaters at that time as well and it left me with the following question: What sort of person would one have to be, what sort of character would one have to possess in order to defy a totalitarian regime? That question finally found an answer in my first book, Women Heroes of World War II. All the women featured there defied the Nazis to one extent or another.

 

War brings out the best and the worst in people, which makes it such a fascinating study. But I’ve had specific additional reasons for writing all my books, generally because I want to wrap my brain around a specific war. Courageous Women of the Vietnam War came into being because although I lived through that war as a child I didn’t understand it. Young men in my family circle were going there, my friends and I all wore POW bracelets, but we were taught very little about it. Writing the introductory material vastly improved my grasp of the conflict and writing the narrative chapters allowed me a close-up view through the eyes of women who were there.

 

Women Heroes of World War II—the Pacific Theater: 15 Stories of Resistance, Rescue, Sabotage, and Survival - Kathryn J. AtwoodWomen Heroes of World War I: 16 Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies, and Medics - Kathryn J. AtwoodWomen Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue - Kathryn J J AtwoodCourageous Women of the Vietnam War: Medics, Journalists, Survivors, and More (Women of Action) - Kathryn J. Atwood,Diane Carlson Evans

 

 

Your books are listed as targeted at young adults, teens. Why did you choose this audience?

 

When I first met Lisa, she wanted to launch a young adult series about historical women which is now CRP’s Women of Action series. So the audience was chosen for me. But as I began writing Women Heroes of World War II the audience I kept in mind was my 12 year-old self—an undermotivated student who loved to read. I was deliberately trying to reach young people who might not believe they like history but who might be enticed towards interest in a particular historical woman if the narrative was compelling. To understand what made that woman tick, one has to understand her setting and voila! The reader is learning history!

 

 

REQUEST YOUR COPY

 

 

What would you say sets your books apart as books for teens, as opposed to other history books for adults? What makes them different? How do you write to make sure you attract your readers' attention, and to ensure that they understand the points you would like to get across?

 

Women Heroes of World War II—the Pacific Theater: 15 Stories of Resistance, Rescue, Sabotage, and Survival - Kathryn J. AtwoodI try to arrange the facts of each brief chapter in such a way as to get to the heart of the individual person’s story while keeping the narrative moving. In the first book, especially, I tried to start in the middle of the story, then provide some background before continuing with the denouement. I knew I’d hit my stride with Women Heroes of World War II — the Pacific Theater  when the Booklist reviewer wrote that each chapter “could constitute a cliffhanger screenplay.”

 

I’m not really trying to make a point in my books. Aside from the introductory material, I’m merely trying to present history through the eyes of the women who experienced it. I strongly believe that we need to teach young people how to think, not what to think. We need more room for freedom of thought and differences of opinion in this country, on both sides of the political divide! It’s crucial to provide teens with an unbiased view of history for, as the saying goes, those who don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it.

 

 

Do you travel to the places you write about in your books? Do you think this is a necessary element of the "job" for a non-fiction writer?

 Courageous Women of the Vietnam War: Medics, Journalists, Survivors, and More (Women of Action) - Kathryn J. Atwood,Diane Carlson Evans

I’ve been asked that question many times! One certainly needs to find a direct connection to history in order to write a good history book, but I believe I’ve managed to do that without traveling. For Courageous Women of the Vietnam War I found that connection through direct communication with the women themselves. One of them, US Army nurse Anne Koch Voigt, sent me a scrapbook filled with mementoes and photos from her year in Vietnam. It was a visual lightning bolt (and I believe her chapter contains the most photos and sidebars of any in the book!)

 

Women Heroes of World War I: 16 Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies, and Medics - Kathryn J. AtwoodFor Women Heroes of World War I I accessed dozens of digitized memoirs and mined them for quotes. In doing this I felt I was giving a voice to these women who experienced war a century ago. It was almost as exciting as my experiences while working on the first book when I spoke on the phone with the following people: George J. Wittenstein, a personal friend of Sophie Scholl; Barbara Moorman, the daughter of Johtje Vos; Nelly Hewitt, daughter of Magda Trocme; Muriel Engelman, a US Army nurse who came under direct fire during the Battle of the Bulge; and Diet Eman. I also exchanged emails with Paul Elsinga, a man who knew Hannie Schaft when he was a boy. All electrifying experiences!

 

 

Many of your books focus on women? Why did you make that choice when you set out to write your books?

 

Again, that’s how I got started, but I’ve continued because I love to illuminate the stories of unsung heroes. There’s a reason we have Women’s History Month; most history, if studied in an overview sort of way, deals mainly with the efforts of men. Men’s stories are like the icebergs of history — their contributions are all that is visible after a particular period of time has passed, but there is so much more going on beneath the surface, so much history left behind. Women’s experiences and perspectives fill in all the blanks and make the picture complete.

 

 

Have you read Svetlana Alexievich's book about the role of women in war? Did it inspire you in any way?

 

The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II - Svetlana Alexievich,Larissa Volokhonsky,Richard PevearI’m halfway finished and I absolutely love it. Again, there’s nothing like the testimony of people who lived through history to bring the reader directly into the past. And I was impressed at how the women interviewed for that book were so human and honest about how their femininity and relative youth intersected with the horrors of war.  In that aspect, many of the stories sound similar, but because the women had different roles, The Unwomanly Face of War has significantly widened my understanding of the Eastern Front.

 

 

Follow Kathryn Atwood's blog on BookLikes: 

http://kathrynatwood.booklikes.com/

 

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Kathryn Atwood's books on BookLikes:

Code Name Pauline: Memoirs of a World War II Special Agent - Pearl Witherington Cornioley, Kathryn J. AtwoodWomen Heroes of World War I: 16 Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies, and Medics - Kathryn J. AtwoodWomen Heroes of World War II—the Pacific Theater: 15 Stories of Resistance, Rescue, Sabotage, and Survival - Kathryn J. AtwoodCourageous Women of the Vietnam War: Medics, Journalists, Survivors, and More (Women of Action) - Kathryn J. Atwood, Diane Carlson EvansWomen Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue - Kathryn J J Atwood

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