I want to introduce you all to author Douglas Jacobson. His new book The Katyn Order was released in May 2012 and I had the opportunity to ask him a few questions about the interesting subject matter that he writes about.
The WWII era is one that is much written about. How would you say your book stands out from the myriad options that readers have? What should they know about your book to compel them to choose your novel?
The Katyn Order is a thriller/love story centered around one of WW2's most heinous, yet least known war crimes. The Katyn massacre, in which 20,000 Polish officers were murdered in secret by the Soviet NKVD, was initially covered up by the Americans and British when it was discovered, and remained shrouded in secrecy for more than fifty years. In addition to an exciting, fast-paced thriller, readers will gain an insight into this important part of WW2 history about which little has been written.
What inspired you to write your novel, The Katyn Order? Do you have any personal connections to this period in history or is it just an area that you are interested in?
As with my first novel, Night of Flames, my inspiration springs from my European relatives who experienced first hand the brutal occupation of the Nazi oppressors. The Katyn Ordertells the story of common people caught up in extraordinary circumstances who are forced to do things they never imagined they could do. It is a story of love and human courage.
I have to admit that I don’t really know much about this period and place in history. What is the essential background information that a reader would need to know in regards to the subject matter?
None. This is a historical novel and the reader can enjoy the story - and learn about the history - through the eyes of the characters. They can enjoy the experience without any previous background.
What has been the most difficult part of the process of getting your books to print? What has been the most enjoyable? Was it any different this time around as opposed to the release of your previous novel Night of Flames?
The most difficult part was getting a publisher's attention to the original manuscript for Night of Flames. After many rejections (which all first-time authors experience) I found exactly the right publisher in McBooks Press. Then, because of the success of Night of Flames, the were eager to publish The Katyn Order. The most enjoyable part of this entire process is feedback from readers who tell me what they got out of these stories.
Are you the type of writer who has an extensive outline as you write or more of an on-the-fly writer? Was there anything that surprised you as you were writing?
I work with an outline, although I have to admit that it is often a moving target. What always surprises me as I write is how the characters tend to evolve almost on their own. As I progress through the writing the characters keep "talking" to me and the story evolves along with the characters. I always know where the end-point is, but the path to get there keeps changing.
Are you currently working on anything new or do you have any plans in the works that you can tell us about?
I am currently working on the third part of this WW2 trilogy. While it will not be a direct sequel to either of the first two books, several of the same characters will be involved.
Douglas W. Jacobson is an engineer, business owner and World War Two history enthusiast. Doug has traveled extensively in Europe researching stories of the courage of common people caught up in extraordinary circumstances. His debut novel, Night of Flames: A Novel of World War Two was published in 2007 by McBooks Press, and was released in paperback in 2008. Night of Flames won the “2007 Outstanding Achievement Award” from the Wisconsin Library association. Doug writes a monthly column on Poland’s contribution during WW2, has published articles on Belgium’s WW2 escape organization, the Comet Line and other European resistance organizations. Doug’s second historical novel, The Katyn Order, which was released on May, 2011, focuses on one of history’s most notorious war crimes, the Katyn massacre.
You can find Douglas Jacobson at the following sites:
The Katyn Order: A Novel (9781590136478): Douglas W. Jacobson: Books
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