When the web site It’s Write Now ran a feature for my novel last week, I reconnected with the very enjoyable interview the site offered me last year.
In its timely way, my revisiting of those questions is helping me reflect on my current writing project, a sort of spiritual memoir, as I look back on the process of writing The Munich Girl.
It’s another powerful reminder that right now has what’s just right for right now. 🙂
The experiences of Germany through this period is really told through the characters that the readers meet during the book. How you breathe life into these characters?
The dynamic that each of the three women in the book experiences, of never feeling that she can be fully herself – of having to choose between things, based on others’ views of her — is conditioning that overshadowed my own life for a long time.
Today, I know that I experience my own power of choice more deeply as a result of the process of letting myself explore a potentially controversial or volatile subject like Hitler’s mistress in as neutral a way as possible, to see what sort of larger picture might emerge as this story unfolded for me.
You really are tackling a controversial or volatile subject in The Munich Girl. What did you want to give readers who were brave enough to explore this subject with you?
Initially, it was to give a glimpse into the experience of Germans during the war, and show how varied it was. Though they lived in a very dangerous place they could not necessarily escape, many Germans took risks to help and protect others, but many of these stories got lost once they were seen as part of the “losing enemy” country.
Within the first year of writing, I also began to accept that the goal, to the best of my ability, was to convey themes that the story was suggesting.
These include that any good we seek to do will always have an enduring effect, sometimes for successive generations.
What are lessons you learned during this glimpse into wartime Germany that have endured in your mind?
One paradox that I think could tell us a lot about our present imbalances of inequality in our world is that the very sorts of caring, nurturing qualities that the Nazis sought to demean and suppress were exactly what Hitler came home to Eva Braun for.
One question for me is, when, and how, will we find the collective will to value and honor these qualities in both genders, and all situations? It is the devaluing of them that has allowed, and continues to allow, violence and atrocities like the Holocaust to happen.
I admire your desire to explore and present things like this paradox in terms that people can understand and learn from, but I am curious to find how working in this sensitive situation has impacted your writing. Do you feel energized or exhausted working to ensure that you present this period well?
Sometimes the struggle is in making peace with the inescapable fact that every writing work has its own timetable. It’s directly related to the one connected with my own development, and it’s wise not to try to force or speed that up. What never fails to delight me is that I’m always happy when I let myself be absorbed in a project that attracts me, and it’s something I can pursue anywhere I am in the world.
Find the rest of the interview at: https://itswritenow.com/84433/author-interview-with-phyllis-edgerly-ring-of-the-munich-girl/
Find The Munich Girl at: ‘The Munich Girl ( ASIN: B01AC4FHI8 )‘.
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