Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why a book on the Lebensborn Project?
When I learned about the Lebensborn homes, I couldn’t get them out of my head. At least 10,000 babies were born in those homes, and some estimates put that number at 25,000. In addition, as many as a quarter million children were stolen — literally ripped from their parents’ arms. The lack of humanity broke my heart. At the same time, I was surprised that so few people were aware of this program, one of Himmler’s favorite pet projects.
I’ve always believed that our secrets (the buried ones, those we’re too afraid to look at) make us sick. We need to bring those secrets into the light for real healing to happen. I felt it was important to tell the story.
What themes did you tackle in your first book?
Choice, for one, since Allina loses everything but chooses to rebuild her life. She chooses love and forgiveness over hate and revenge. Second, I wanted to explore the connection between the abuser and the abused. When an act of violence is committed, both perpetrator and victim are dehumanized. The journey back from that is hard, and I wanted to show the healing process from both perspectives. Finally, I was interested in writing about female heroes because women were horribly marginalized at that time. Men had control and all external power. Allina, on the other hand, shows the strength of her own authentic power. It’s that power that helps her heal and find the courage to resist the SS and save these children.
How did you do your research?
Very carefully. Lots of Internet research, of course, but online information can lack depth and be unreliable. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. had books and interviews I couldn’t find anywhere else. YouTube videos were helpful when it came to art, music, culture, and tours of buildings and parks. But the bulk of my research came from books. (Lots and lots of books.) You’ll find some favorites on the Resources page.
Who are your favorite authors?
There are so many! Diana Gabaldon, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, L.M. Montgomery, Wally Lamb, Anita Shreve, Jane Austen, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Richard Paul Evans, Madeline L’Engle, Nelson DeMille, Katherine Neville, Jodi Picoult, Ken Follett, Lavyrle Spencer, and Rosamund Pilcher, to name a few.
Any other books on the horizon?
Two others, in different genres. I like mixing things up. In early 2019, I finished edits to Late Bloomers, a Romantic Suspense with a cougar twist. It’s been a hoot to write. I’m also working on a Women’s Fiction novel (working title: For Love of Ben) about two childhood friends who became enemies when they fell in the love with the same man, and their journey back to friendship after his death. Finally, I’m drafting some horror short stories based on intriguing female figures from Italian folklore — La Befana and La Strega.
Any advice for new authors?
Read as many great books as you can, because they’ll be your inspiration. Do your research, so you can build an authentic world for the reader. Join a critique group, as networking with other authors is important. Pick your beta readers carefully. Enter contests and go to conferences; the feedback you get will help you improve. Set aside time every day to write. Query widely. Be prepared for rejection and persist. There’s more about the pursuit of publication on my Blog.