What is the inspiration for your current book?
I have written seven historical fictions. In the last few years, the most interesting to me were The Youngest Cameleer about the finding of Uluru, My Holocaust story: Hanna set in the Warsaw Ghetto. But for the purposes of this blog. I will concentrate on the YA That Stranger Next Door published in 2014 by Clandestine Press.
Is there a particular theme you are exploring in this book?
Yes. The plot has as its background the 1954 Petrov Affair. I was intrigued by how that anti-communist push was used politically to reinstate PM Menzies and was aware of how it was replicated by Howard in the Children Overboard’ incident.
Which period of history particularly interests you? Why?
Right now I am exploring the Weimar Years in Berlin. Again I see political parallels to the present.
What resources do you use to research your book?
Everything I can lay my hands on. Friends who work as historians. Books, articles and newspapers of the time. If the period isn’t too far back, I interview people who remember those years.
What is more important to you: historical authenticity or accuracy?
Both. I don’t think they can be separated.
Which character in your current book is your favourite? Why?
Young Ruth and her attempts to unravel herself from her mother’s expectation as a ‘good Jewish’ girl’.
Are you a ‘plotter’ or a ‘pantser’? How long does it generally take you to write a book?
Basically, I think I am a pantser, though I do have an idea of how the book will progress and then how it will end. Once the character takes hold of me, I go where he or she takes me.
Which authors have influenced you?
I read so widely I don’t know how to answer this. Probably the last historical fiction I read. When it comes to kids, I am a great admirer of Marcus Zusak.
What advice would you give an aspiring author?
To read very widely. To make the historical background quite normal and to avoid the trap of inserting too much detail that will hold up the narrative. The characters should live in those times and behave as naturally as in the present.
Tell us about your next book or work in progress.
I am halfway through a time-warp presently titled HISTORY CHANGER where my protagonist is miraculously transported from 2016 Melbourne to Berlin 1928, a time of remarkable innovation and freedom of speech. If the Great Depression hadn’t hit the world in 1929, perhaps WWW2 might have been prevented? Who knows?
In 1954, Melbourne is still reeling from WWII, the Cold War sees suspicions running high and the threat of communism and spies are imagined in every shadow. 15 year old Jewish Ruth is trying to navigate her own path, despite her strict upbringing and the past that haunts her family. A path that she wishes could include her first love, 17 year old Patrick. But the rich, Catholic boy is strictly off limits.
When a mysterious woman moves in next door in the dead of night, Ruth becomes convinced that she is none other than Eva or Evdokia Petrov, a Soviet spy and wife of famous Russian defector, Vladimir Petrov.
My Holocaust Story: Hanna can be bought through Go Books.
Thank you for sharing your journey with us, Goldie!
HNSA 2017 Conference in Melbourne is being held on 8-10 September 2017 at Swinburne University, Hawthorn.