Hello everyone, today I am going to be interviewing author D.P. Cornelius about being an author and his new novel: The Baker’s Daughter! This is an amazing read that I definitely recommend, stay tuned for my review in a couple days because I am going to be RAVING about this awesome book. You can go ahead and grab it here if you can’t wait – I would if I were you!
Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview Douglas, I am so excited to have you give us a little insight into the man behind the book. The Baker’s Daughter is an excellent read and I cannot recommend it enough so I’m really looking forward to your responses.
1.) To get us started, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself? What made you decide to write this book?
I give God the credit for all the inspiration. Perhaps my brain, fully retired, was more fertile! It started with an interest in WW II driven by Ken Burns’ documentary. I became fascinated with two Christian martyrs of the time, Bonhoeffer and Kolbe, and began to explore how different people reacted to the stressful events–from those martyrs, to Americans such as my father who designed critical airplane parts, to Germans, many of whom remained oblivious to the atrocities of the Nazis. I think the reader should learn something for their time invested. I thought I could weave the pieces together into a story revealing the history while highlighting the contributions of the martyrs with their life lessons.
2.) Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process, how do you “get into the zone” so to speak? Do you have any quirky writing habits?
I’m not the right person to decide if my writing habits are quirky, but I think not. Yes, I have a favorite chair. I deal with writer’s block by plowing ahead, writing something, even if lackluster, hoping it will improve as I go along. One thing about writing–a person can always go back and re-write!
3.) When writing, do you need silence or do you prefer background noise?
I concentrate better with silence while I write, but can usually block out noise if I have to.
4.) How much research went into this book? I am always fascinated with historical fiction because I know how hard it must be to make sure you’re doing things, well, by the book!
I enjoy reading about history. I used three main books in my research: Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas, Berlin at War by Roger Moorhouse, and Forget Not Love by Andre Frossard. I did have a German reviewer take me to task about some of the details, but the way I look at historical fiction, as long as what happens is possible within the timeline, and is consistent with the actual figures’ characters, it’s fair game.
5.) Tell us a little about Liddy, what made you write her story in particular?
I read a newspaper article about how so many girls suffer from self-esteem issues. Then I heard a lady interviewed (did not catch her name) reminding us that if a person could really understand the full extent of God’s unconditional love, she could more easily step out in courage. So that’s how Liddy’s character evolved. I asked myself, what’s the worst thing she could do to doubt her worthiness for God’s love, and that’s the careless mistake she makes that drives the story forward and becomes the springboard for her courage.
6.) Do real life experiences ever have a hand in your writing?
I’m sure our real life experiences have an impact on our writing in more ways than we realize. Nothing specific, however, comes to mind for this story, other than my introverted nature which helped define Liddy’s early character.
7.) What is one bit of advice you’d give to aspiring writers who might be reading?
I would tell aspiring writers that so much of writing technique can be learned. We improve with practice. The help of good editors doesn’t hurt, either. Attending a writer’s conference marked the beginning of my journey to get published.
8.) What are three things you think readers might want to know before reading The Baker’s Daughter?
I think having a basic understanding of the events of WW II would be helpful. Also, background on the two Christian martyrs, Bonhoeffer and Kolbe would enhance the reading experience. (I provide this information at the back of the book.) It’s also good to begin the story with faith in the ability of humans to be redeemed, even if their hearts were once filled with evil.
9.) Is there anything else you’d like to tell potential readers of the book?
Although the protagonists are teens, hence the appeal to YA readers, this taut story about a critical time in world history should be captivating to older and younger readers alike.
Thank you again for the interview, Douglas!
Be sure to follow along with this tour by following the hashtag #TheBakersDaughter on Twitter, as there will be more posts to come, including reviews, excerpts and more!