Welcome to the Blog Tour for A Novel-Tea Evening with Authors including Lynn Austin, Susie Finkbeiner, Jocelyn Green, Laura Frantz, Kate Breslin, Amanda Barratt, and Joanna Davidson Politano, sponsored by JustRead Publicity Tours!
You are Invited
A Novel-Tea Evening with Authors
September 2, 2023 at 7 p.m.
Palmer House Hilton Hotel, Chicago
Join us at 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 2, at Chicago’s historic Palmer House Hilton Hotel for a tasteful evening with tea and talk of books, writing, history, and the power of story. Emceed by Chris Jager of Baker Book House, seven novelists will share what inspires them, tales from the research files, what they’ve learned on the journey, and their hope for readers.
Learn More about A Novel-Tea Evening with Authors
About the Authors
LYNN AUSTIN, whose titles include Long Way Home, Chasing Shadows, and If I Were You. Connect with her at LynnAustin.org.
AMANDA BARRATT, whose titles include Within These Walls of Sorrow, The White Rose Resists, and My Dearest Dietrich. Connect with her at AmandaBarratt.net.
KATE BRESLIN, whose titles include In Love’s Time, As Dawn Breaks, and Far Side of the Sea. Connect with her at KateBreslin.com.
SUSIE FINKBEINER, whose titles include The All-American, The Nature of Small Birds, and All Manner of Things. Connect with her at SusieFinkbeiner.com.
LAURA FRANTZ, whose titles include The Rose and the Thistle, A Heart Adrift, and Tidewater Bride. Connect with her at LauraFrantz.net.
JOCELYN GREEN, whose titles include The Metropolitan Affair, The Windy City Saga series, and The Mark of the King. Connect with her at JocelynGreen.com.
JOANNA DAVIDSON POLITANO, whose titles include The Lost Melody, A Midnight Dance, and The Love Note. Connect with her at JDPStories.com.
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Author Interview With Amanda Barratt for Within These Walls of Sorrow
- Outside of writing, what is something fun that you enjoy doing to fill your bucket?
Besides the obvious answer of reading, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, taking walks, cooking and baking, wandering through bookshops, traveling to visit museums and historical sites, and watching films and shows, be it an immersive WWII drama or a charming British series like All Creatures Great and Small.
- Is there a time of the day that you find is easiest to be creative and get the most writing done?
I tend to be most productive in the mid-morning—no five a.m. writing sprints happening here, thank you very much! I usually begin writing after breakfast and work until around dinnertime. Part of the writing day usually involves research as I delve a bit deeper into the details needed to flesh out whatever scene I’m working on. I’m a slow writer and it typically takes me a couple of days to finish a single scene, but I’ve grown to embrace the process rather than succumbing to frustration over what may seem like a low output at the end of the day. Writing a novel is a process of discovery and the unfolding of the journey never fails to make my breath catch with the wonder of it all.
- I always know when I pick up one of your books that tissues will be required. But I also know there’s always going to be some really powerful messages. As a reader the “tough stuff” lasts but moments… but I know as an author you must spend A LOT of time getting into the character’s heads. What do you do to stay above the dark when in the midst of those most difficult scenes?
Thank you for those encouraging words! That means so much. Spending months and years immersed in the Second World War can be emotionally heavy, but I always return to the passion I have for honoring the courage of ordinary people who lived during this extraordinarily dark time. There are so many true stories of resistance and resilience and they ceaselessly leave me in awe, as well as inspire me as a novelist. I feel humbled and grateful to not only be able to explore these stories, but to share them with others.
- The amount of research you put into your books is incredible. How long did it take you to put all that together before you were even able to sit down to write the story?
I spend several months researching and outlining before starting to write. During this time, I read a steady stream of nonfiction and firsthand accounts (memoirs, letters, diaries) to immerse myself in the historical narrative and gain inspiration. Delving into these resources usually leads to discoveries that shape my story, so I use this time to outline as well. For my January release, Within These Walls of Sorrow, I relied on over fifty books as I studied the history of Poland during the Second World War, the Kraków ghetto, and the story of the Under the Eagle pharmacy.
- Anything from that research that wasn’t able to fit into the story but still interesting enough to share?
While passing through the gates of the Kraków ghetto, the women who worked at the Under the Eagle pharmacy smuggled food, mail, and even a Torah scroll hidden in a briefcase. Years later, Irena Droździkowska recalled the time a Jewish acquaintance asked her to smuggle a diamond out of the ghetto so it could be appraised. Irena concealed the diamond in her mouth, deciding that if the guards searched her, she’d swallow the diamond. Thankfully she succeeded in taking it out of the ghetto without detection. I wasn’t able to include this scene in the novel, but it certainly deserves a mention here. These women are truly unsung heroines.
- Are you able to share anything about what’s coming up next for you? 🙂
My next novel, The Warsaw Sisters: A Novel of WWII Poland, releases in November 2023. It’s a story of the enduring bond between sisters and the courage that calls the ordinary to resist. From the dauntless women who rescued Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto to Poland’s secret army that rose up in a heroic and tragic battle to liberate the city, the history explored within this story left me riveted as I researched and wrote. I’ve poured so much of my heart into these pages and cannot wait to share this novel with all of you!
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat! And I already can’t wait for your next read as well 🙂
(1) winner will receive a tote bag, one bag of Pride and Peppermint Novel Tea, plus a $20 egift card to BakerBookHouse.com!
Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight April 12, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on April 19, 2023. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
what a great interview! thank you, Becca & Amanda!
Always a joy to chat with you, Becca! Heartfelt thanks for hosting this interview. 🙂