Welcome back, Cathy. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
I see just enough to reach the next bend in this amazing journey—the current releasing of Saving Amelie and the thought provoking questions this book raises among readers, the pouring of my heart into my next book, Into the Valley of Secrets (working title), and the joyful anticipation that a new story will emerge from my recent trip to England’s Lake District and Scotland. What the Lord has in store, I cannot say. But each day is a new adventure. Each door the Lord opens is one I’m thrilled to walk through.
Tell us a little about your family.
My family is growing ... our first grandchild—a granddaughter—was born last year. She’s changed everything—my husband and I have even temporarily moved to
to be near her. I babysit for her 3–4 days per week while her parents work. My
husband generously brings or prepares lunch and pinch hits when I have
telephone interviews or book club meetings or radio broadcasts. Our grown son
studies and works in China.
My mother’s health is challenged, and she and we are planning moves. Our nest
is not empty, but ever changing.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Yes, I’ve always loved to read a great deal of fiction. Now, although I still read fiction when possible, I focus primarily on nonfiction for research purposes. I read a great deal of history—something I didn’t consider entertaining early in life, but find absolutely fascinating now.
What are you working on right now?
(working title), due to
release from Tyndale House Publishers in 2015. This is my first time-split
novel and is the story of a young woman who discovers, much to her horror and shame,
that her grandfather was a Nazi who exploited Jewish friends and strangers
during WWII, as well as his very own daughter, her mother. The story, separated
by decades, follows conflicted mother and daughter—as well as the men they grow
to love—on parallel journeys of discovery, each seeking understanding and a road
to redemption. Valley of Secrets
Sounds very interesting. What outside interests do you have?
Right now my chief interest is my granddaughter! Each day is new, and witnessing her accomplishments, reading to her, teaching her and caring for her are great pleasures. I also love reading, cooking, exploring historical sights and gardens, and travel. I’ve just returned from a wonderful trip to
another new book) with author-friend Carrie Turansky (The Edwardian Bride
Series) and a fascinating tour of Scotland guided by Liz Curtis
I love those two ladies. I read on Facebook about some of those travels. How do you choose your settings for each book?
I think settings choose me. When I traveled to
Oberammergau to view the
Passion Play, I had not planned to set a book—Saving Amelie—there. But
after leaving, I couldn’t help but wonder how this Alpine Passion Village,
committed to portraying the sacrificial love of Christ, had responded to the
cruelties and dictates of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. The question would
not let me go, so I began to research, and found the story beyond fascinating. That
happens often. Sometimes, the very history I’m writing about leads me/draws me
to a particular place—as in Promise Me
This, when the Titanic sailed first from Belfast, Ireland, and later began
its maiden voyage from Southampton, England.
I found Promise Me This a fascinating story. If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
William Wilberforce. His long commitment, even through terrible health, to the abolition of slavery in
England has long inspired me. His
crusade to elevate the society in which he lived through his writing, speaking,
volunteering, campaigning, and crusades amazes and thrills me. He demonstrated
what a life entirely focused can accomplish. I’d love to stand in the presence
of such passion and faith.
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I wish I’d better understood technology and the tools needed to reach readers through today’s social media, as well as the importance and “how” of gradually building relationships through social media.
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
He’s teaching me, day by day, to trust Him for strength and time. I believe He has led me to and is blessing these months of caring for my granddaughter. At the same time, I’m concerned about the management of time for research and writing, for public speaking and the needed promotion of books. Wonderfully, I’m learning that when I lay aside worry and trust Him most, He blesses me with the most productive writing and work sessions—often at unexpected times and in unexpected places. His gifts are new every morning!
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
a. Read classics and poetry, certainly the Bible. Nothing better teaches the beauty and rhythm, the essence of words and the economy of expression.
b. Study human nature. Get inside the heads of people you know and love—and love to hate, of those you admire and those you find most difficult, of those you glimpse on the street or hear or read about in the news. Understand what makes people tick and you will write compelling characters.
c. Write. Write. Write. Nothing beats the doing of a thing.
Tell us about the featured book.
Rachel Kramer is visiting
Germany when a cryptic letter from
her estranged friend, begging Rachel for help, upends her world. Married to SS
officer Gerhardt Schlick, Kristine sees the dark tides turning and fears her
husband views their daughter—deaf since birth—as a blight on his Aryan
Once courted by Schlick, Rachel knows he’s as dangerous as the swastikas that now hang like ebony spiders across
Berlin. She fears her father, an eminent
eugenics scientist, may know about Hitler’s plans for others, like Amelie, whom
the regime deems unworthy of life. But when she risks searching his classified
documents, she also uncovers shocking secrets about her own history and a
family she’s never known.
Hunted by the SS, Rachel turns to Jason Young, a driven American journalist whose connections to the resistance help Rachel and Amelie escape the city. Forced to hide in the Bavarian village of the Passion Play, Rachel’s every ideal is challenged as she and Jason walk a knife’s edge, risking their lives—and asking others to do the same—for those they barely know but come to love.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Rachel Kramer dropped her linen napkin across the morning newspaper’s inflammatory headlines: “
Scientist in League With Hitler.” She glanced up, willing herself to smile innocently as her
father strode into the formal breakfast room. Cold
“You needn’t bother to hide it.” His eyes, bloodshot and mildly accusing, met hers as he took his chair at the head of the polished mahogany table. “I’ve already received a phone call from the Institute.”
Rachel glanced at their butler’s stoic face as he poured her father’s coffee, then carefully framed her statement. “It isn’t true, of course.”
“In league with the Fȕhrer? You believe the ravings of that maniac hack Young?” he scoffed. “Come now, Rachel—” he jerked his napkin from its ring—“you know me better than that.”
“Of course, Father, but I need to understand—”
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love to connect with readers at my home on the web, www.cathygohlke.com and on Facebook at CathyGohlkeBooks.
Thank you so much for having me,
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Saving Amelie - Christianbook.com
Saving Amelie - Amazon
Saving Amelie - Kindle
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