Author Wednesday – David Lawlor

cropped-typewriter.jpgI am pleased to present David Lawlor today for Author Wednesday. David’s visited my blog several times before and I’ve reviewed his Liam Mannion books here, but today he’s stopping by to tell us about his new release, which is a departure from his usual historical fiction set in Ireland in the post World War I era. I’ll let this talented author and editor take if from here to tell you about High Crimes.HIGH CRIMES HIRES(1)

From David: I’ve written four historical fiction novels – three following the adventures of Liam Mannion from World War I, through the Irish War of Independence and on to the Irish Civil War, so stalkers and sex abusers in modern Dublin are not my usual subject matter. Yet that is what I found myself writing about in my new novel, High Crimes.

The seed of an idea came one night while watching a five-minute documentary on television. It was filmed from the perspective of a crane operator, with various operators talking about their work and what they see from their lofty viewing point. One man on the programme told of how, every day, he used to see a woman strip naked and set about cleaning her apartment.

It was such a strange image that I wondered what would compel her to do such a thing – and what the crane operator really thought about it as he watched her. From there, the ball started rolling and soon I had added several more apartment block residents who were living under the watchful gaze of my crane operator, Tommy Reynolds.

Tommy is a seriously disturbed individual. He’s arrogant, conniving, and quite brutal in what he says and how he goes about following his subjects.  He does not self-censor but gives full vent to his feelings. He speaks direct to the reader in a full-on verbal assault. You might wonder what research I did for Tommy – how I tapped into his sociopathic nature. Well, er, aside from reading up on how cranes operate, very little. The fact is that all that venting he does came from inside me (which makes me wonder about myself sometimes, but that’s another story entirely). We all self-censor – that’s the norm in a civilized society – so, to be able to let fly with the most inappropriate and hurtful of comments was liberating. Yes, Tommy is nasty, but he was also great fun to write.

Less fun was my other arch villain – an ex-priest, Cathal Mac Liam, who is a paedophile. Mac Liam is pure evil. In the past, he abused his victims in orphanages, now he uses the internet to find them and to traffic children to be abused by others.

I read several articles, written by both the abused and the abuser, to get a sense of what Mac Liam should be like. That research proved to be truly shocking. A lot of his thoughts are actually taken from real case histories, as was some of the chat-room dialogue I used in the book. My character may seem far-fetched to some but, believe me, real people like him are out there doing terrible things to children.

My stalking victims are varied. There’s Maggie, a policewoman whose childhood was destroyed and whose entire life has been blighted by the memories of her abuse at the hands of Mac Liam. Then there’s Jack, a widowed soldier trying to come to terms with why his wife drowned herself and their infant son. There’s also Paddy, who is struggling to cope with his wife’s dementia and with a disowned drug addict son. Ann, a high-flier in a government department, is building a new life for herself in Dublin following years spent in New York. Finally, there’s Ernie, a talented artist who starts using cranes in his paintings as a motif.

Mac Liam impacts almost all of their lives, while Tommy watches them from his crane, filming and following, and listening, too, until finally he worms his way into their lives with deadly consequences.

Reynolds and Mac Liam are vile. We marvel at their cruelty and feel sympathy for their victims. Unfortunately, sometimes those victims are pushed beyond all endurance and see suicide as the only recourse.  I thought it would be good to see the victims finally stand up and fight back, which is what happens in this book.

The tone of High Crimes is very different to that of my historical fiction trilogy – Tan, The Golden Grave and A Time of Traitors. Finding that new voice was exciting as was writing a story set in the modern world. That doesn’t mean I’m done with the past. I have a soft spot for Liam Mannion, the hero of my trilogy, and he’ll be reappearing in a new book further down the line.

The beauty of fiction is that we can immerse ourselves in any world we choose – that goes for the author as much as the reader. It’s why I’m hooked on writing and why I’ll keep doing it as long as my body and my mind allow.

I’m glad that you are going to keep putting out suspenseful and powerful novels. 

About David:David Lawlor David Lawlor has worked as a journalist for the past twenty-five years and is currently Associate Editor with The Herald newspaper in Dublin. He’s also a book editor. [Note: David was my editor for Native Lands.] To date, he’s published three novels in the Liam Mannion series – Tan, The Golden Grave and A Time of Traitors, which are historical fiction thrillers set during the Irish War of Independence, in 1921. His first a contemporary novel is High Crimes.

Other Author Wednesday posts about David Lawlor:

November 12, 2014

July 7, 2013

Book reviews of David Lawlor’s Liam Mannion novels:

A Time of Traitors and Tan and The Golden Grave


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Twitter: @LawlorDavid



High Crimes 


The Golden Grave 

A Time of Traitors 


Book Review Friday – Go Away Home

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In an Author Wednesday interview with author Carol Brodensteiner, I asked her the best thing someone could say about her novel Go Away Home. She said, “I think the best thing someone could tell me is that they were touched by the characters and the story. That would mean they felt the story was well told, which was my goal in the first place. The second best thing is that they came away from the book knowing more about life in the early twentieth century.”

Go Away Home, Ms. Brodensteiner’s first novel, scores on both counts. The story touched me, and I learned a few things in the process.

The main character, Liddie, yearns for a life outside of her family’s Iowa farm as the novel opens in 1914. She’s sixteen and has yet to deal with life’s harsh realities. The novel’s coming of age theme isn’t old-fashioned despite its historical setting. The same universal characteristics apply whether a novel is set in the 1900s or 2000s. Liddie must come to terms with the world, not as black and white, but as shades of gray. It’s the same for everyone. Those who adapt can enjoy fulfilling lives no matter the circumstances.

I particularly enjoyed one of the messages in Go Away Home. If offers the encouragement to keep doing something no matter how dire life may seem. We can sit and do nothing, but if we do there’s no hope for anything miraculous to occur. Liddie must keep moving and doing things even when the most precious things in life have been taken from her. If she sits and does nothing, that’s exactly what will happen. I loved Liddie and her determination. Yet, Ms. Brodensteiner created a very real character in this woman. In one particular scene, Liddie has made a dire mistake with a lovely dress made for a client of the dress shop where she works. She prays no one will notice, but of course, the owner of the shop does. Liddie’s horror, fear, hope, and embarrassment are the emotions we all share in the same type of circumstances. It’s a brilliant piece of writing and characterization.

The novel’s setting of eastern rural Iowa during the years 1914 – 1919 sets the tone for Go Away Home. First, the farming life creates a tableau of innocence and simple pleasures. Fresh baked bread, gooey chocolate cake, cows bearing calves, and shirts sewn with fanciful embroidery seem romantic to us living in the twenty-first century. However, to Liddie and her family those were the everyday occurrences on the farm. The world of wars and suffragists intrudes into the drum beat of everyday living. Letter writing brings news of family far away, but with great gaps in time. This simple way of life confines Liddie—or so she thinks—until she goes out into the world and discovers that life in the city isn’t as satisfying as she thought. The sister who must leave home in shame when she becomes pregnant without the benefit of wedlock affects the entire family. It seems so silly now, but then it was considered the worst thing that could happen—until the worst thing does happen and then priorities must be rearranged.

Liddie hopes that women’s suffrage will bring freedom for her to choose how she wants to live her life. The draft at the beginning of the United States’ entry into World War I creates fear among the family, although no one close to them is drafted. Automobiles are beginning to appear, even on the farm. And the telephone is a novelty, but one that soon proves to be invaluable.

We believe that technologies are changing at a rapid speed now. Imagine what it must have been like to suddenly go from horse-powered transportation to a machine filled with gasoline. Or what it meant to suddenly be connected to someone living hours away through the black device on the wall. We have no idea what it must have been like in those days of discovery and invention. However, through novels such as Go Away Home, we learn about those times and how it must have been for our ancestors.

The research is impeccable in this novel. Ms. Brodensteiner has proven herself as an exceptional storyteller in her first novel. If you enjoy rich characters and historical fiction, you won’t be disappointed in Go Away Home.

Disclosure: I was provided with an Advanced Review copy of Go Away Home in exchange for an honest review.

Author Wednesday – Carol Bodensteiner

???????????????????????????????Welcome to Author Wednesday. Today I’m pleased to introduce you to Carol Bodensteiner. Carol released her first novel, Go Away Home, this past month, and she’s stopped by to talk a little bit about writing this World War I-era novel set in rural eastern Iowa. Her first book, Growing Up Country, is a memoir of growing up in Iowa in the 1950s. It’s so nice to have you visit today, Carol. Congratulations on publishing your first novel. Tell us about Go Away Home.Go Away Home Revised Ebook Final Cover Medium What’s the one sentence pitch for this work of historical fiction?

Thanks for inviting me to Author Wednesday, P.C. Go Away Home is the story of a young woman’s quest for independence and the right to decide her own future set against a twentieth century backdrop when options for women were limited yet social change was occurring and the Great War was on the horizon.

What is the main message you wanted to convey in this novel?

Go Away Home explores the reality that life is not as simple, or the choices as clear-cut, as we often hope they are, and that when confronted with the conflict between dreams and reality we learn there are tradeoffs. To get one thing, we often must give up something equally important.

We don’t really grow up until we’re confronted with those gray areas in life. This lesson is an important one to address. Tell us how you came up with the idea for Go Away Home.

Ever since I was a small child and learned that my grandfather died of the Spanish flu in 1918, I’ve been fascinated by my connection to that major world event. In a way my novel creates a life for the man I never knew and for the grandmother I only knew as a stern old woman. Since I never asked my grandmother a single question about my grandfather and their lives together, the story is entirely fiction.

I did that in my last novel with my grandfather. It was a way for me to create the grandfather I wanted. I’m glad you were able to do this in your fiction as well. Since this is set one hundred years ago, what type of research did you do? 

My research covered everything from photo studios, clothing, apprenticeships, boarding houses, electricity and telephones, to attitudes toward German immigrants during World War I. I roamed the Living History Farms, the State Historical Society Library, and the stacks at the public library. I spent hours with an uncle who grew up on a farm pre-electricity and with a high school classmate whose family owns a rural telephone company. I found on-line issues of Kodak magazines for photographers and YouTube videos about driving a Model T. I couldn’t have dreamed up things half as interesting as the reality I found through my research.

I was impressed with the wide range of issues you tackled in Go Away Home. I think it’s very interesting that YouTube helped you learn about the Model T. I know that both of your books are set in the same place in Iowa. What role does setting play in your novel?

Setting is critical to the story, representing one of the basic choices my main character Liddie faces. She grows up on a farm and though she wants desperately to get to the city with all the excitement and opportunities that represents, her connection to the farm and the kind of life she had there is stronger than she realizes.

I feel a strong connection to place myself and find conveying place is important to my writing. In addition to the larger “city vs. country” settings, there are smaller places very important to the story. Some readers have commented that the grove, which Liddie retreats to, is almost like another character.

I enjoyed the process Liddie went through in her discovery of what she really wanted in life. It’s a timeless study of maturing from a child to a woman. Without giving us a spoiler, tell us a little bit about your favorite scene in this book.

I have so many, but here’s one. Liddie relishes life and keeps adding more to her plate. In the effort to juggle everything, she makes a serious mistake. She hopes her employer won’t notice, but of course she does and calls Liddie out on it. While Liddie is ashamed of how she initially tries to hide the problem, she stands up and takes responsibility. A real growth moment for her.

I related to that moment. You captured the feelings perfectly. I’ve been there so I was rooting for Liddie all the way. What is the best thing someone could say about this book?

I think the best thing someone could tell me is that they were touched by the characters and the story. That would mean they felt the story was well told, which was my goal in the first place. The second best thing is that they came away from the book knowing more about life in the early twentieth century.

You scored on both counts with me. The characters have stayed with me after finishing the book, and I learned a few things about the life my father (born in 1904) and my grandparents might have lived. I hope you’ll come back and visit when you publish your next novel.

Thanks for letting me share my stories with your readers.

You’re very welcome, Carol. I enjoyed getting to know you a little bit better, and I enjoyed reading Go Away Home.

Be sure to watch for Book Review Friday and my review of Carol’s historical novel, Go Away Home.

BodensteinerCAbout Carol Bodensteiner – Carol is a writer who finds inspiration in the places, people, culture and history of the Midwest. After a successful career in public relations consulting, she turned to creative writing. She blogs about writing, her prairie, gardening, and whatever in life interests her at the moment. She published her memoir Growing Up Country in 2008. 9780979799709-207x300Go Away Home is her debut novel.

Links (Click below)

Go Away Home is available on Amazon in paperback and eBook.

Click here to read the first chapters now.

Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl is available on Amazon in paperback and eBook.


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Book Review Friday – David Lawlor’s “Liam Mannion” series

An author faces a monumental task when writing historical fiction. If one historical fact is wrong or an anachronism appears, the reader is likely to put aside the book in favor of one that achieves historical accuracy tempered with believable dialogue, heightened tension, and sympathetic, yet flawed, heroes.

If you are a reader of historical fiction who requires accuracy, suspense, and flawed, yet heroic main characters, then I suggest you go directly to Amazon and buy Tan or The Golden Grave or both by David Lawlor.

RESIZED TANI read Tan first because it is the first in the “Liam Mannion” series of suspenseful and historical novels written by Lawlor. I interviewed him on Author Wednesday a few months back and was intrigued to learn this journalist writes while commuting to his job an hour each way. This process works to create suspenseful fiction with colorful and unforgettable characters.

Set in England and then Ireland in the year after the end of World War I, Tan explores the war of a closer nature immediately following Liam Mannion’s release from the English Army in 1919. Here’s a guy forced to leave Ireland at a young age because of an act he witnessed after a night of drinking at a friend’s wedding. It’s here where the conflict of the story begins when the evil Webber blames and accuses the young Liam of an indecent act against a virtuous married woman. Webber’s fiction that forces Liam into exile begins a whole series of events that mark Liam for life.

Liam heads to England in 1914 and ends up in the English army fighting in France during the majority of World War I.

When Liam eventually heads back to England after the horrid and putrid rot of dead bodies that made up his memory of the war, he ends up in an insufferable situation, which leads him to homelessness, and then worse, as an officer of the crown as a member of the powerful and often repressive Black and Tan. Liam turns a blind eye to the atrocious behavior of his English comrades, only until it becomes evident that his loyalty to the Black and Tan extracts too high of a rent for clean clothes and warm bowl of soup.

Lawlor captures the uncertainty of the times through the examination of Liam’s uncertain future as he’s thrust into situations beyond his control. Precise and graphic descriptions of life in England and Ireland post-World War I show that despite the end of a tragic war on the mainland of Europe, Ireland faced an even greater war at home with the invasion and intrusion of the Tans.

I fell in love with Lawlor’s descriptions of the setting in Tan as I lost myself in the world of the Irish fighting for their lives and their homeland. Here’s an example of Lawlor’s powerful descriptive talent:

“They leaned against the viaduct’s promenade rail, looking out on their hometown, watching the slow huff of a steam engine as it trundled into the station, the smell of the sea mingling with the coke from Cumisky’s coal yard beneath them.”

Lawlor peppers the novel with descriptions filled with contrasting details that employ the senses to show the reader that the situation and the setting are both beautiful and polluted.

Tan is both tender and violent as the reader is drawn into the abyss of angry revenge and the love and loyalty of friends and family. It also shows that being born into a family does not guarantee such loyalty. The character of the individual breeds the kind of loyalty that would take a bullet and shoot a bullet to protect and exact revenge.

I highly recommend Tan if you like immersing your senses in the past of one hundred years ago on English and Irish soils bloodied from wars and stained with tears.

THE GOLDEN GRAVEI also recommend reading Tan before delving into Lawlor’s second “Liam Mannion” novel, The Golden Grave. Liam is once again in exile in England in 1920 when he runs into a war buddy from the trenches in France. The novel’s conflict is set almost immediately as a group of World War I veterans enter into a dangerous project that involves digging into the battlefield grounds of France to find the pot of gold.

The love and lust affair between Liam and Sabine offers some sexual tension, but also provides a buffer between the tedious task of unearthing the treasure and the trauma all the former soldiers feel upon returning to the arena of so many deaths—some of which they caused.

If the story verges toward romanticism, Lawlor skillfully and abruptly changes the tone with flashes of jealousy and flashbacks of war. He uses contrasts to create vivid sketches of the setting as he does in this scene when the veterans make it back to the small village in Flanders that became their touchstone during the worst days of the war:

“The road ran like a scar across Flanders’ ruined landscape. Amongst the straggling wild flowers and sparse grass patches, the animals watched beneath a noon-day sun that shone bright and pristine. A black rat paused in its scavenging; its head tilted high, the whiskers twitching expectantly as it listened to the soft shuffle of booted feet.”

Liam Mannion is impacted by the war, yet in him Lawlor has created a sympathetic and very human main character. He loves, yet he’s afraid of rejection so he holds back. He’s loyal, yet his temptations lead him to places that test his loyalty. He doesn’t always win those personal battles, but he manages to find his way back to remind us all it’s never too late to find redemption.

The Golden Grave is more graphic and more violent than Tan. The horror of war and its impact on individuals plays a role in the plot, but perhaps the quest for gold to quench an unquenchable greed drives the conflict and extracts tolls far more costly than war. It also points to human failings of the worst kind.

Lawlor’s talent is evident in the fast-paced and moving story of war, greed, and passion found within the pages of The Golden Grave. I’m not one for war stories in general, but The Golden Grave is so suspenseful and action-packed and filled with historical importance that I enjoyed every minute reading this book.

Note to Mr. Lawlor:  I hope there’s a third “Liam Mannion” novel in the works.

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The Golden Grave:







#Book Review Friday – Sebastian by Christoph Fischer


Sebastian_Cover_for_KindleIt took me some time to understand why the title of this book is Sebastian. The title character doesn’t appear very often, but his presence is felt in the stories of those–mostly women–around him.

Sebastian, Christoph Fischer’s second novel in the Three Nations Trilogy, is set in Vienna and Galicia in Central Europe. His first book in the trilogy, The Luck of the Weissensteiners, is set in Eastern Europe prior, during, and after World War II. Once again, he’s written a historical account of life as lived by Jews who hide or abandon their cultural and religious heritage because of fear of prosecution, and it also explores the lives of gentiles who are closely aligned with the Jewish community. The lives of the characters, including Sebastian, create a personal view as the war plays out in the backdrop. The war and all its residual effects are felt in the lives of Sebastian’s immediate family and by those that circle him peripherally. No one is particularly religious in both of the books, so it comes as a shock to the characters to be divided along those lines. It forces them to do things they aren’t proud of, such as shunning someone because of their heritage or their association with someone of a particular background.

Not only is war’s turmoil shown through the individuals, but the popular culture is recounted as well. The Glueck family draws Sebastian’s mother, Vera, into experiments with psychoanalysis, which is the “in” thing as Freud emerges on the scene with some outlandish notions about the mind. The occult and seances make an appearance, too. Vera and others seek out meduims to attempt to learn the fate of their husbands and sons sent off to war. Fischer explores these topics and presents both sides as represented by the characters. He doesn’t take a side on these issues, but rather provides the reader with provocative thought to ponder the beliefs presented, which are generally disdained by the scientists of the day.

World War I goes on around and outside of the lives of Sebatian’s extended group, but Vienna remains relatively safe from the war raging just outside its borders.

I’m still thinking of the characters and their inability to communicate with one another, which leads to some unnecessary suffering and missed cues. The novel speaks volumes about this issue as lovers are star-crossed until they finally open up and tell the truth. While the communication doesn’t bring the couple together, it does provide a resolution to the mixed up wires. T

As with his first book in this trilogy, I was shaken out of my ethnocentric self. This time I witnessed the war and its impact by those living through it. The entry of the United States into the fray is nothing more than a blimp on the overall  map of the war fought on the soil of Fischer’s setting. The history of the Jews prior to World War I shows that for centuries they feared and suffered at the hands of those in power, particularly in Eastern Europe. Fischer sets the stage for what will happen in the next two decades. Borders and cultures are crossed, bisected, and in some cases, obliterated.

Fischer’s attention to the real life problems caused by war is impeccable. I love that he can relate history without resorting to boring textbook discourse. The individuals’ stories show the harsh reality of what happens to the people actually put at risk during war. We’re not privvy to the high-level meetings of the political puppets holding all the strings, but the impact of those decisions are felt through lack of food and resources to survive.

If you are a lover of history brought to life through characters, I recommend reading Fischer’s novel from the Three Nations Trilogy. You’ll learn as well as become compelled to follow the characters to the final resolution, at least for that small portion of history.

Fischer has now released the final book in the trilogy, The Black Eagle Inn, which I hope to read soon. The third book explores post-World War II life in Eastern Europe.

Author Wednesday – Christoph Fischer


typewriter.jpgWelcome to Author Wednesday. I’m pleased to welcome back Christoph Fischer to my blog. Christoph writes historical fiction and recently published the third book in his Three Nations Trilogy, The Black Eagle Inn. The Luck of the Weissensteiners, Sebastian, and The Black Eagle Inn are set in Europe during either World War I, World War II, or the post-war period. They offer a unique view of wars that pulled apart countries, cultures, and religions. Christoph uses the individual stories to narrate his historical perspective.542568_135806279903679_1569303214_nSebastian_Cover_for_Kindleb3-front-sm

Welcome to Author Wednesday, Christoph. It’s always a pleasure to have you drop by for a chat. You’ve written a trilogy so I wonder about the similar messages and themes you used in all three books. What message are you trying to convey to your readers?

I try to write about new historical aspects, but also the human factor and how people deal with the trials of their lives. I hope that the importance of families, love, and tolerance shine through my pages. My motivation to write stories derives from a fascination with my chosen subjects, such as a particular era of history, Alzheimer’s, or mental health. I want to pass on what I have learned in the process, and I hope that what was new or intriguing to me will also be that to my readers.

Those are very important themes to express. To get to this point, who or what has the most influence on your writing?

The influences on my writing are more or less in this order: The reviewers and their invaluable feedback; my editors whose critiques can never be tough enough to help me improve; literature teachers in my past whose encouraging words saw me through waves of self-doubt; and great writers whose amazing books make me both jealous and ambitious.

You’ve stated you do have common themes throughout all of your books. What motivated you to write about those things?

I lost both of my parents when I was fairly young, and I guess that is why I am so prone to write about large families rather than about lovers. I had a huge support network at the time and that shows in the set-up of my stories.

Losing your parents at a young age is certainly something that left a mark on your life. You’ve chosen to use that in a positive way through your writing, which is admirable. Is there a broader message you’re expressing since the plots of all three books are in the context of the larger world that have created the individual angst and triumph.

In the widest sense, I am writing about the concept of Nations in my three books. Being a German from the Sudetenland made my father a bit of a foreigner in the eyes of some, and with my odd accent in Bavaria, I felt like that, too. After twenty years of living in the UK, I am branded a German there, but I don’t feel as if I belong to either of the Nations completely. In the first two books, it is the drawing of new borders, establishment of new governments, and blatant racism that help create new and bigger or smaller nations—multi-ethnic or not. In the third book, The Black Eagle Inn, I focus on the personal and how people choose to draw their own borders, and the foundations for all policies that exclude. Above all, it is about how a Nation can and must change.

I was very curious to learn more about post-war Germany, something not covered in our history lessons, yet a most important lesson for a country with such shame and guilt to deal with. I was trying to put into context the many contradictory experiences and comments (racist, chauvinist, or humble and riddled with guilt) which I had picked up in my childhood. By putting myself and my characters through the research and the writing experience, I hope I have come up with something that has interest and relevance for others, too.

What I love about the two books I’ve read is the knowledge I gained about the wars and the individual stories that you created. We don’t understand the impact of the global actions until we look at the individuals who live it. Do you have a favourite character that you created?

I love almost all of my characters, and all for different and valid reasons. Right now, I am thinking of Markus in The Black Eagle Inn. Initially, he is a misguided and selfish gay man who gradually becomes more aware. I was often asked if he is me, and I always rejected the idea because I never did what he does in the book. On longer reflection however, he served as a great tool of reflection on my life. I left a small town because I could not see myself living a gay life in a small and potentially judgmental environment. Like him I chose the safety of a big city instead of fighting in my corner, and like him, I too had irresponsible phases in my life. I thought that Markus was not a character I had put my heart in when I wrote him, but the longer I am reading him, the more he is growing on me.

I’m sure Markus came through your subconsicious in some ways. I always say that a little bit of me exists in all of my characters. What is the best thing said about any of your books by a reviewer?

“I loved Sebastian. A truly inspiring read for anyone!”

The best reviews are short and sweet. What is the one sentence pitch for The Black Eagle Inn?

A great family saga set in post war Germany about political and religious division, revenge, reformation, and redemption.

Those are some of my favorite themes in my books, too. What is the best thing that someone could say about The Black Eagle Inn?

A gripping family saga with an interesting setting of post-war Germany with great characters and some fascinating historical facts and insight.

How was the book conceived in your imagination?

A scene in the Oscar-nominated German film, The Bader Meinhoff Complex, stuck to my mind. It showed the hate of some of these post-war born terrorists towards their parents. I started to imagine life in post-war Germany:  the guilty and the innocent living together, the bystanders, the blind witnesses and their offspring. Since much has been written about the Nuremberg Trials, I focused on the people not directly involved but were not totally innocent either. Then the first few characters came to life and soon the story followed.

Who would play you in a film about your life?

Ewan McGregor, please.

Good choice. What are you reading right now?

The Changeling by Christopher Shields, a fantasy story about Fae.

How did you come up with the title The Black Eagle Inn?

The Black Eagle Inn is a restaurant and hotel business in my book. When I remembered that there is a Black Eagle emblem on the official German Flag and also an Eagle on the speaker’s desk in the German parliament, this “accidental symbolism” seemed the perfect choice for a title. The bird theme began on the cover of Book 1(The Luck of the Weissensteiners) and continues in this saga of a blackened bird rising from the ashes.

I’m looking forward to reading it. Is there a book or an author that acts as standard bearer for your writing?

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts is one of my all-time favorite books with great multifaceted and developing characters. I wonder with all of my characters if they could be part of his books. Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin) has a bite and raw honesty that I also aspire too in my books.

Christoph, it’s always a pleasure. Thank you for writing such important historical pieces.

922159_10151345337037132_1303709604_oAbout Christoph Fischer: Christoph was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers, he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years, he moved on to the UK where he still resides today. Besides the Three Nations Trilogy, he has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalization.