Today, I am pleased to welcome Amanda Barratt to Interviews & Reviews. Amanda is the ECPA best-selling author of over a dozen novels and novellas, including My Dearest Dietrich: A Novel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Lost Love. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a two-time FHL Reader’s Choice Award finalist. She and her family live in northern Michigan. Visit her at www.amandabarratt.net.
Today, Amanda is going to talk about her latest book The White Rose Resists inspired by a true story set in WWII. Amanda welcome to I & R!
Amanda, I am intrigued by the story behind The White Rose Resists. Tell me, which do you enjoy more, the research part for a book, or the writing?
I love both, for different reasons. Since I write historical fiction, research is an integral part of the process, and starts well before I begin writing and continues through the final round of edits, where I’m feverishly triple-checking minor details. Research, along with a basic plot, is the skeleton I always start with. Writing is when I have fun fleshing out the skeleton and bringing the story to life.
What inspired you to write this book?
While writing my second novel, My Dearest Dietrich, I came across the story of Sophie Scholl in a book on youth in Nazi Germany. As I read about how a twenty-one-year-old woman formed an underground resistance movement alongside her brother and a group of students at the University of Munich, I was captivated. I wanted to discover who she was beyond the brief mention she receives in history books. As I delved deeper, I kept coming back to a single question: What made these men and women risk their lives to undertake resistance while their countrymen remained silent? The more I researched, the more Sophie’s story grabbed hold of my heart and begged me to share it.
I can't wait to read it! Is there a message in it that you want your readers to grasp?
The White Rose Resists is a story of ordinary men and women who made extraordinary sacrifices to uphold truth under a totalitarian regime. As I wrote the novel, I was struck by how easy it would’ve been for these students to focus on simply surviving the war. Instead, they took action. It’s a temptation to sit on the sidelines and let others speak out, but we don’t have to be a celebrity or have a huge platform in order to stand against injustice in our world. Like I wrote in the novel, if our voices rise, change can happen. But one voice has to be the first to rise. We can be that first.
Which character do you like the most?
I loved exploring Sophie Scholl. In Germany, she’s an iconic figure, but in America, she’s not as well known. I wanted to reach past the layers of the icon and discover her as the woman in all her flaws and complexities.
Do you talk to your characters?
I don’t talk “to” them, but when I’m struggling with plot complications, the best way for me to work them out is to talk through the issues, whether with a brainstorming partner, or by myself while on a walk or working around the house. And yes, I’m sure people call me “that crazy writer.”
One final question - which do you enjoy more – reading or writing?
Reading great writing fuels my creative fire. When I don’t feed the fire, I find it much more difficult to write. I love creating my own novels, but I also love immersing myself in a well-crafted story. I don’t think I could be a writer without being an avid reader.
Thank you for stopping by, Amanda. Amanda's book comes out May 26. Pre-order it at the link below and follow her on Twitter at https://mobile.twitter.com/amandambarratt
Inspired by the incredible true story of a group of ordinary men and women who dared to stand against evil
The ideal of a new Germany swept up Sophie Scholl in a maelstrom of patriotic fervor--that is, until she realized the truth behind Hitler's machinations for the fatherland. Now she and other students in Munich, the cradle of the Nazi government, have banded together to form a group to fight for the truth: the White Rose. Risking everything to print and distribute leaflets calling for Germans to rise up against the evil permeating their country, the White Rose treads a knife's edge of discovery by the Gestapo.
Annalise Brandt came to the University of Munich to study art, not get involved with conspiracy. The daughter of an SS officer, she's been brought up to believe in the Führer's divinely appointed leadership. But the more she comes to know Sophie and her friends, the more she questions the Nazi propaganda.
Soon Annalise joins their double life--students by day, resisters by night. And as the stakes increase, they're all forced to confront the deadly consequences meted out to any who dare to oppose the Reich.
A gripping testament to courage, The White Rose Resists illuminates the sacrifice and conviction of an unlikely group of revolutionaries who refused to remain silent-no matter the cost.