Thursday, January 5, 2012

Interview with historical fiction writer Carol Eglash-Kosoff

Today's guest author is historical novelist Carole Eglash-Kosoff. She's touring her newest novel Winds of Change and is here to tell us a bit about it. Her earlier books include When Stars Align and The Human Spirit.

Carole Eglash-Kosoff lives and writes in Valley Village, California. She graduated from UCLA and spent her career in business, teaching, and traveling. She has visited more than seventy countries. An avid student of history, she researched the decades preceding and following the Civil War for nearly three years, including time in Louisiana, the setting for Winds of Change and her earlier novel, When Stars Align. It is a story of bi-racial love. It is a story of war, reconstruction, and racism, but primarily, it is a story of hope.

This is her third book. In 2006, following the death of her husband, she volunteered to teach in South Africa. Her first book, The Human Spirit – Apartheid’s Unheralded Heroes, tells the true life stories of an amazing array of men and women who have devoted their lives during the worst years of apartheid to help the children, the elderly, and the disabled of the townships. These people cared when no one else did and their efforts continue to this day.

Her second book, When Stars Align, chronicles the Civil War and Reconstruction through the love affair of Amy, a white girl, and Thaddeus, a colored man born of the rape of an eleven-year-old slave girl and the teen heir to Moss Grove.

You can visit her website or connect with her on Facebook.

Carol, welcome to Reviews and Interviews. Please tell us about your current release, Winds of Change.
The racially charged love and conflict of the critically acclaimed When Stars Align become more entrenched after the Civil War and Reconstruction. Amy had taken her daughter, nephew, and a son she’d had never been able to acknowledge, born from her love with Thaddeus, her colored lover, to San Francisco, as a refuge from the intense racial scrutiny of the South.

They are forced to return to their old home, Moss Grove, a successful Mississippi River cotton plantation, as young adults. They discover facts about themselves that refute everything they believed regarding both their parents and their racial background. It changes the lives of each of them. Bess and Stephen’s love is thwarted. Josiah struggles with echoes of his past.

It is a tumultuous time in American history that includes the inventions of airplanes, automobiles, telephones, and movies midst decades of lynchings and economic turmoil. It is the Spanish-American War and World War I. Racial biases complicate lives and relationships as newly arrived immigrants vie with white and Negro workers all trying to gain a piece of the American dream. Winds of Change is a soaring historic fiction novel that stands alone, but follows the next generation from those we came to know in When Stars Align into the 20th century. It is a socially relevant, historically accurate, saga of decades often overlooked in American history.

What inspired you to write this book?
I was still emotionally connected to the characters I’d developed for When Stars Align and the nation was moving into an amazing period that had been little studied…the decades between the Civil War and World War I. It was a wonderful opportunity to tell a story.

What exciting story are you working on next?
A non-fiction book that I’ve wanted to write for more than three decades.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I held When Stars Align in my hands and cried.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I don’t write full time…I play tennis, bridge, and I have an active tax accounting practice.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Breathing life into unsuspecting characters.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
First a history teacher, then a journalist…I never got to do either.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Read and travel.

Thanks for being here today, Carol.

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