Before we end the month of October, I'd like to share with you about one of the books that simply catches my attention regarding World War II and Hitler himself. I am a sucker when it comes to World History so if ever I got a chance to know anything about it whether its fictional or a documentary one, I'll read it without any hesitation. But really, there's something mysterious about Adolf Hitler that people made so much studies about him. It's undeniably fascinating how such a merciless man ever born became people's eye to research about.
Anyhow, when HarperCollins releases their new series on book covers as well. One of the book that catches my attention is Anne Blankman's The Prisoner of Night and Fog. I admit that I first thing that catches my mind is the beautiful cover. Let's take a moment to admire those eyes and red lips though. And the other fact, which truly catches all my being is the synopsis. It's about World War II, Hitler and everything in between. (!!!!)
After I finished the book, I immediately send an email with Anne Blankman for giving me the opportunity to have an interview with her. And when she replied right away, I feel so thankful for having her on my blog.
Here are the questions...*drumroll*
1. Tell us 3 or 5 facts about yourself.
I'm named after the main character in Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.
I used to fence competitively in the foil and sabre categories.
I've always been really tall--by the time I was in eighth grade, I was 5'8"!
2. I read on some of your interviews that it took 2 years when you were writing Prisoner of Night and Fog, all those times, is there a certain character you became attached with?
This will probably sound strange, but I try not to have favorite characters when I write. It's far too easy to fall so in love with your creations that you don't let them make mistakes or tough sacrifices.
One of the real people in Prisoner, however, touched my heart deeply and I still can't think about him without wanting to cry. Fritz Gerlich was a courageous anti-Nazi journalist who dared to write investigative articles about Hitler, even though he knew by doing so he put himself in personal danger. I don't want to say too much about him here, though, because he appears in the sequel.
3. What does it feel everytime you research about World War and Hitler?
When I researched for Prisoner of Night and Fog, I had to learn to turn my emotions off or I would be swamped with grief and anger every time I started taking notes. Whenever I think about World War Two, those are my two overriding emotions.
4. Are you planning to write prequels or e-novellas on Prisoner of Night and Fog.
Yes! The sequel, Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke, comes out in April, 2015. It stars Gretchen and Daniel again. This time, they're trapped in Berlin right after Hitler has been appointed chancellor. I'm not supposed to reveal too many details yet, but I can promise that this book has even more intrigue, murder, and romance than the first!
5. Can you share us one of the difficult part on the writing process of Prisoner of Night and Fog?
Writing Hitler as a character was, hands down, the hardest part of writing this book. It would have been easy to reduce him to a caricature--smirking in a corner, rubbing his hands with malevolent glee--but I felt a tremendous responsibility to portray him as accurately as I could, not just because he was a real person but out of respect for his millions of victims. Finding ways to capture his many different sides--the hate-spewing politician, the doting uncle, the intensely private man--was a challenge for me.
6. Before you saw the cover of Prisoner of Night and Fog, what was the cover that you imagined?
Let's start by saying I'm grateful I'm not responsible for designing book covers! My mind just doesn't work that way. I had imagined Gretchen and Daniel, the two MCs, running down a fog-filled street while Hitler glared at them from the shadows. Terrible, right? And it's not even from a scene in the book! I have no idea why I came up with that image. Anyway, I was thrilled when my editor sent me the cover mock-up. The model looked so much like Gretchen, and I loved the intensity in her eyes.
7. Any message for your Filipino readers?
One of my best friends in high school, Cheryl, was born in Manila and lived there until she was in her early teens and her parents sent her to the United States to stay with her aunt and uncle. I loved hearing Cheryl's stories about her childhood, and thought that Manila sounded like such a vibrant, bustling, exciting place to live. I hope someday I get the chance to visit it!
Many thanks for having me, Leslie!
The sequel, Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke is expected to be published on April 21, 2015 by HarperCollins.