Where did the idea for the book come from? You know that panicky sensation you get when you realize you'll never live long enough or write fast enough to write every story you care about? Basically I got that feeling, followed by this wacko idea to combine several stories into one big family saga. It was easy to find a common thread (German-American history) and I realized that these various stories I loved could happen to different people in one family line.
One-to two-sentence synopsis of the book: TRAMPER is five individual stories that build to tell one larger German-American family history. The first character is born to German immigrants in the U.S in 1889. The in-between characters live through German-American tensions of the World Wars and the Cold War. The final character is on hand for the fall of the Berlin Wall.
What else about this book might peak the readers’ interest? Romance. I mean you can't produce the next generation if young people don't fall in love. So, several romances. And some high drama history - think escape plans, protest marches, and secret police.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I can't imagine everself-publishing because I don't want the responsibility. Not to mention, I need to work with an editor!
I'm interested in pursuing an agent but oh my, that means polishing up my marketing skills! Any writer friends want to recommend me? ; )
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? Hmmm - 2 years and counting... But then again, during those 2 years I took chunks of time off for family needs and also to work on another manuscript. I've spent probably a year focusing on just TRAMPER. But I'm not finished researching or writing.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Oh, boy, anything I say would just sound pretentious. And honestly, I don't even know. I have yet to read Alan Gratz' THE BROOKLYN NINE but I've read that it covers nine generations within one family and that each story represents the next generation. I guess in terms of generational stories it's something like that.
TRAMPER is a verse novel so I could perhaps compare it to BORROWED NAMES by Jeannine Atkins which uses free verse to tell the stories of three famous mother-daughter pairs. (It's terrific!)
My dream would be to convey history with the soul of Jennifer Roy's YELLOW STAR (a holocaust story told in free verse).
What characters would you choose to play a movie rendition?
Ha! This question is so out of my league. But some German actors would be lovely!
I sure hope that TRAMPER is my next big thing!
What about you, Carol Baldwin, Rosi Hollinbeck, Marcia Hoehne, Clara Gillow Clark, and Vijaya Bodach.
IF, you're so inclined, use the same questions to tell us what your next big thing is. And if you're not so inclined, just keep on writing. The children will thank you!