Yes, there is. My aunt was born in the United States to German parents who returned to Germany in the mid 30s. She came of age in Germany during the war and survived the Battle of Berlin and the invasion of the Russian troops at the end of the war. The book is also based on the life of a friend’s mother who was in East Prussia (today Poland) and who fled the advancing Russians in the dead of winter.
Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
My heroine, Gisela Cramer, intrigued me. She was in a very delicate position as a German American. She saw the German people suffering at the hand of the Allies and feared for her life, while at the same time, she didn’t agree with the Nazis and welcomed the Allies’ liberation. It was a fine line to walk.
If you could paint or sculpt like a famous artist who would it be and why?
I would love to be able to paint like Monet. I love his impressionistic style and how he plays with light. His water lily paintings are so beautiful.
What is your strangest habit?
I talk to myself. All the time. It keeps me focused on what I need to do and the order I need to do it in. The thing is, sometimes I forget that other people are around and I talk to myself when I’m not alone. Embarrassing!
What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud?
The things my youngest daughter says. She is moderately disabled and is really like a three year old. And you know what they can come up with! Yesterday, she was in tears at lunch. I asked what was wrong, and she responded that the dog was looking at her. Oy :)
What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up?
I love that we live in the country, near farm fields and hiking areas and that I have room for a large flower garden and a vegetable garden. But it’s only 20 minutes to town, and so when I need something or want to shop, I can be there quickly.
Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?
In January, my husband and I were in Mexico celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. We took a day and went to a charming island that is much more “real” Mexico. It was charming, with colorful houses and the deep blue of the Caribbean. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch overlooking the water. The staff operated on Mexican time, but we were on vacation and didn’t mind. A little later, we found a sidewalk cafe and sat with our drinks watching people go by.
Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
No matter what theme I choose, I always find myself coming back to God’s sovereignty. When you get down to it, God is in control of all circumstances in our life. Whatever my characters need to learn – courage, trust, forgiveness – they really need to learn that God holds us in the palm of His hand.
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
My next book is due out on February 3rd, 2015. It’s called Remember the Lilies, and it’s about the Santo Tomas Internment Camp in Manila during WWII. The Japanese interned over 3000 Westerners in the camp for 37 months. By the last year, rations were slashed, and quite a few internees were starving to death each month. The story is about a man who was a successful nightclub owner before the war and a woman who was a missionary in the Philippine jungle and how they coped with the Japanese brutality. February 3rd, 2015 is the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the camp by the Americans.
It sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing!
Please visit Liz's blog at www.liztolsma.blogspot.com and follow her on Facebook and Twitter (@LizTolsma). She is also a regular contributor to the Barn Door blog.
Liz Tolsma is giving away a copy of Daisies Are Forever. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.