Today we talk about The East Wind, a book by Storm Frederickson published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author Storm Frederickson to get to know him better, the characteristics his audience should have to appreciate The East Wind, as well as how he chose the title of his book.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- What was the moment that brought you to the writing of your book?
There was no “moment” that prompted me to write THE EAST WIND. The book came as a natural progression in my study of authoritarian regimes in the affluent West, and of the resistance they encountered. Forces opposed to tyranny, whether in Germany or elsewhere, do not elicit the same popular attention as the graphic horrors of the Holocaust or of the American antebellum South. They are a neglected subject, which is why I chose to make them central to my fiction. In an earlier novel I used Sophie Scholl – the young German student who took on Hitler with leaflets – as a model for my heroine in East Germany. The book became an international best-seller, but it did so without including another type of hero: the apolitical citizen who finds within herself a fierce commitment to decency. THE EAST WIND depicts a resistance movement that combines the power of a superhero with the less obvious but equally significant force of regular people turned fighters. The result will astound.
- What characteristics your audience should have to appreciate your book?
THE EAST WIND will appeal to a broad swath of readers. In general terms, the book focuses on an incendiary love affair between an American spy and the wife of the German nuclear physicist he is trying to impersonate. Set in the Third Reich, the story is packed with nail-biting suspense, constant danger, and seemingly insoluble dilemmas. Its general appeal notwithstanding, the book does target a very specific readership. Those interested in the evolution of modern spy craft will find a wealth of material on the subject, some of it first-hand. Science in general, and nuclear physics in particular, will attract its own group of readers. And, of course, anyone looking for a story about resistance to totalitarianism – especially that of Hitler – will be drawn in from page one. Finally, readers who insist on quality writing in suspense fiction – often woefully absent – will be pleased. The novel aims to achieve a degree of literary distinction, as did the work of John le Carré. Whether or not it succeeds only the reader can say.
- How did you choose the title of your book?
How? As usual, with difficulty. One begins by laying out possibilities in the same fashion that a casino dealer lays out playing cards. Inevitably, the prospective titles fall into what I shall call “title genres.” The first genre encompasses prospective titles that, to the extent possible, attempt to convey the subject of the book. This is hardly a problem with a fact-based publication, such as an academic study. With fiction, on the other hand, it is an enormous problem. A long, descriptive title tends to be colourless. It might also contain inadvertent “spoilers.” I rarely chose my title from this pile of cards. Next come the contenders that give a broad sense of time and place. Examples, of which there are many, would be Love in the Time of Cholera, La Chartreuse de Parme, Im Westen Nichts Neues . . . and the list goes on. Finally, there is the sort of title I prefer. It gives no specifics but conveys in a word or two the atmosphere in which the novel is steeped. THE EAST WIND struck me as a perfect title for the work under discussion. It is a reference to one graphic scene in the book, a scene that does not recur and does not constitute any sort of theme. It tells you nothing about the story. But, in my admittedly biased opinion, it captures the eerie sense of foreboding I sought as a prelude to the story.
- How would you describe your writing style?
I’m going to answer in a round-about way. Most readers have a strong preference for a certain type of fiction. When you buy a book by Umberto Eco, you expect a level of sophistication that requires your active involvement to fully understand and appreciate the story. You know you will have to “work.” When you buy a book by Ken Follet, you expect an easy, entertaining read at the end of a long workday. You know certain authors will make you laugh; others will make you sad. If you are an author, you must respect the way most readers chose what they read. Otherwise, you will mislead those you are trying to please. A diner expecting escargots won’t take kindly to being served a hamburger. This means, with a few notable exceptions, that an author cannot write suspense fiction one year, literary satire the following year, and then a book dealing with teen problems. But that is precisely what I do. As a result, I must hide behind multiple pseudonyms and make dramatic changes in style. Since I can’t properly answer the interviewer’s question, I’ll give you an example of my suspense-fiction style from THE EAST WIND – and task you with providing a description: “Walking toward the front stoop, Robert felt snow in the air. It was cold. The trees and bushes, coated with hoarfrost, glowed in the darkness as if they were watching him. He might have found Nature at that moment uninviting, even hostile. But he did not. He wanted to soak up whatever he could of this world. He might not have another chance”.
- Are you working on a new writing project you can tell us about?
I am working on a new book. Unfortunately, for the reasons explained above, I can’t tell you about it. The book is not a thriller, and it is being written under yet another pseudonym. When you pick up a novel by Storm Fredrickson, you rightly expect it to be in the same genre as THE EAST WIND. I’m not going to send you home with a comedy!
Europe Books thanks the author Storm Frederickson once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside him on the editorial path that led to the publication of his book The East Wind. We wish him the best of luck for his book and for his future works.
To you, my dear reader may the story here told, full of love and espionage, breathtaking events, constant dangers and unsolved dilemmas will set your souls on fire and keep you glued to the pages of the book with an enormous curiosity.
So, my dear reader, all I have to say is to enjoy your reading!