My First Book of Historical Fiction…

I have written various novels that took place in the 1960s, but, since they were based upon my early life, in my heart, I didn’t consider any of them historical fiction. They just seem like modern novels to me.

But”Escape From the Maelstrom” is much different! It takes place between 1912 and 1919. No one can deny that it is really historical fiction. It required great planning, organization and research…moreso than all my other novels except my biography of the Brownings, which required a year of research and various drafts.

I wrote “Escape From the Maelstrom” because my paternal grandparents immigrated to America in the 1890s. They had lived in Odessa, Russia, where they were persecuted for their religion. In those days, when it was least expected, Cossacks would ride into small Jewish villages and plunder and kill with no compunction. My grandparents, who ironically didn’t know each other in Odessa, escaped to the United States, where they met each other in a millinery factory.

They dated for a while, I presume, because no one ever actually asked them about their courtship. I guess, as a granddaughter, I was too embarrassed and shy. Anyway, they got married and had three amazing children: my Uncle, who became a negligence lawyer; then my dad, a home delivery supervisor for a New York newspaper, and finally, my beautiful aunt, a wise and compassionate wife and mother, who also had love in her heart for her two nieces: my sister and me.

When Grandpa came here, he took an Americanized name, the original Russian name never known by any of my cousins or me. If we would have asked, of course, he would have told us. But we never did, as far as I know, so the only valid name we know is my grandmother’s maiden name.

I decided to write a fictionalized account of my grandparents’ journey since I knew only little pieces here and there of their actual journey. The story is exciting and fast-moving. The main character, Karina, is courageous, compassionate, loving and wise, just like my grandmother. Karina is my idea of what my grandmother might have been like as a young woman. She is on the run from the Romanovs, the family of Czar Nicholas, who have targeted Karina and her husband, Dimitri. When the novel begins, Dimitri has just been killed, and Karina is a young and distraught widow.

There are many themes to the story and twists and turns of plot. In the next post I will discuss some of these and thus give you a better idea of why the novel is so special to me. The book is available at www.redleadbooks.com or by calling 1-800-834-1803.

I hope you will follow my next few posts as well! Until then,

Cheryl

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