Saturday, April 18, 2015

Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman Blog Tour: Interview + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop in the CONSPIRACY OF BLOOD AND SMOKE by Anne Blankman Blog Tour hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club. Today on my stop we have an Interview with the wonderful author Anne Blankman + an awesome Tour-Wide Giveaway!!

Conspiracy of Blood

and Smoke #2

 Anne Blankman
(Prisoner of Night and Fog #2)
Published: April 21st, 2015

Genres: Young Adult, Historical
The girl known as Gretchen Whitestone has a secret: She used to be part of Adolf Hitler’s inner circle. More than a year after she made an enemy of her old family friend and fled Munich, she lives with a kindly English family, posing as an ordinary German immigrant, and is preparing to graduate from high school. Her love, Daniel Cohen, is a reporter in town. For the first time in her life, Gretchen is content.

But then, Daniel gets a telegram that sends him back to Germany, and Gretchen’s world turns upside-down. And when she receives word that Daniel is wanted for murder, she has to face the danger she thought she’d escaped-and return to her homeland.

Gretchen must do everything she can to avoid capture and recognition, even though saving Daniel will mean consorting with her former friends, the Nazi elite. And as they work to clear Daniel’s name, Gretchen and Daniel discover a deadly conspiracy stretching from the slums of Berlin to the Reichstag itself. Can they dig up the explosive truth and get out in time-or will Hitler discover them first?

ALICIA: Hi Anne, I'm thrilled to have you here today on Addicted Readers! :)

Hi Alicia! Before we jump into the questions, I wanted to say how nice it is to chat with you again. I remember talking with you online (I think via twitter) when PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG came out last year, and it’s lovely to talk with you again about books! J

1.) Can you tell us a little bit about how the idea for THE PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG series was created, and did it turn out to be what you planned on, or did it change a lot from your initial idea?

: The idea for PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG came to me after I read a nonfiction book about Geli Raubal, Hitler’s half-niece who lived with him when he was a politician on the rise. Long after I finished the book, I couldn’t get this young woman out of my head. I couldn’t stop wondering what her life must have been like, living with Hitler. Had she had any freedom at all? Would it be possible to grow up among the Nazi elite and break free from it? Gretchen Müller and her story was born out of these questions.

Initially, I imagined the series as a set of companion pieces—with three different protagonists, with the first set during Hitler’s rise, the second occurring at the outbreak of war, and the last taking place during the final weeks of the war. Once I began writing, though, I realized that Gretchen and Daniel’s story wouldn’t be done at the end of PRISONER, and that I wanted to take those characters further.

2.) What was the most challenging, and the most enjoyable aspect of writing CONSPIRACY OF BLOOD AND SMOKE, and why? 

Oddly enough, the most challenging and most enjoyable part of writing for me ends up being the same thing—incorporating my research into a cohesive story!

3.) One thing I'm really curious about is how much research and time was invested into creating this series? And was this series built on solid facts from history, or did you incorporate both fictional and nonfictional events to develop this gem of a series?

The research is intense. But I absolutely love it, and I can’t imagine wanting to rush through it. Before I started drafting PRISONER, I spent a solid year researching. Fortunately, I already had a broad base of knowledge on the topics because I’d written my college thesis on Hitler, but there was a ton of information that I still needed to learn, especially about life in Munich in 1931.

I would call this series a blend of fact and fiction. What I did was take certain well-established facts and events and weave fictional murder mysteries around them. The murder in PRISONER, for example, takes place during a certain pivotal incident in Nazi history, and the motive is rooted in fact. In the sequel, the “conspiracy” in the title refers to a real-life historical conspiracy. But it’s too spoilery if I tell you here what that conspiracy actually was! J For readers who’d like to learn more about the real-life stories behind my books, I encourage them to check out my author’s notes.

4.) Can you share with us five random things about you?

I’m named for the title character in L.M. Montgomery’s book, Anne of Green Gables.

My great-grandmother was a psychic and worked under a stage name.

I used to be a competitive fencer.

I’m really bad at fencing.

I’m part Puerto Rican, and my husband’s part Native American. After our daughter was born, we decided it was important to us that she learn about her different heritages. Teaching her about our backgrounds has been a wonderful, powerful experience for all of us.

5.) Do you have any more awesome books planned for after THE PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG series is over? And if so, can you share a little bit about it/them with us?

ANNE: First of all, thank you for calling them awesome books! My next book is very different from the PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG series—it’s a romantic historical adventure set in 1600s England. It comes out in April 2016 from Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins, and I already can’t wait for people to read it!

ALICIA: 6.) If you could describe CONSPIRACY OF BLOOD AND SMOKE in 15 words or less, what would they be?

ANNE: Young adult romantic historical thriller with lots of twists

ALICIA: Anne, it's been so much fun chatting with you today. Good luck with CONSPIRACY OF BLOOD AND SMOKE release coming soon!! :)

ANNE: Thanks so much for having me, Alicia! 

Follow the Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Anne Blankman may have been meant to be a writer because her parents named her for Anne of Green Gables. She grew up in an old house with gables (gray, unfortunately) in upstate New York. When she wasn't writing or reading, she was rowing on the crew team, taking ballet lessons, fencing and swimming. She graduated from Union College with degrees in English and history, which comes in handy when she writes historical fiction.

After earning a master's degree in information science, Anne began working as a youth services librarian. Currently, she lives in southeastern Virginia with her family. When she's not writing young adult fiction, she's playing with her daughter, training for races with her husband, working at her amazing library branch, learning to knit (badly), and reading.

Anne Blankman is the author of PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG, the first in a three-book deal slated for publication in spring 2014 from Balzer + Bray | HarperCollins. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

US Only | Giveaway ends: April 22nd, 2015

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