- Meet Ellis M. Goodman author of Bear Any Burden
- Meet Ellis M. Goodman author of Bear Any Burden
Meet Ellis M. Goodman author of Bear Any Burden
Norm Goldman, B.A. LL.L, is the
Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures, which he created in 2002.' Practicing law for over 35 years enabled Norm to transfer and apply to
book reviewing his many skills that he had perfected during his career in
the legal profession and as a result he became a prolific free lance
book reviewer & author interviewer. To read more about Norm Follow Here
Title: Bear Any Burden
Author: Ellis M. Goodman
ISBN: 13: 978-0979494833
Today, Norm Goldman Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com
is pleased to have as our guest Ellis M. Goodman author of Bear
Good day Ellis and thanks for participating in our interview
Would you say that the publication of your first novel Bear Any Burden is the culmination of a life long dream? As a follow up, how did you decide you were ready to write Bear Any Burden?
I wouldn’t describe it as a life-long dream. However, everybody feels they have a novel in them. I’ve always liked the espionage/spy genre. I also like family sagas and World War II stories. I had already written a business book titled, CORONA THE INSIDE STORY OF AMERICA’S #1 IMPORTED BEER.
My wife thought I should try and write a novel around the same theme. And, although my espionage novel, BEAR ANY BURDEN, does not have a beer background, it still has connections to the Beverage Alcohol Industry. I have tried to include my favourites – espionage /spy story with a strong family saga and interwoven World War II action.
What do you think makes a good story?
Interesting characters who the reader cares about. I have three main characters in BEAR ANY BURDEN, and I have tried to reveal their backgrounds and personalities so that the reader can visualize them as they meet each of their challenges. In addition, I believe choosing identifiable locations and providing historical accuracy in the Book allows the reader to identify with the story. Although most fiction is based on fact, a novel is indeed a fictitious story, but I have tried to be accurate in the choice of locations and historic events. Finally, I always believe a good story should have an interesting and maybe unpredictable ending, which requires the reader to think.
How much of the book is realistic? As a follow up, are the characters in your book based on people you know or have encountered or are they strictly fictional?
My book contains many historically accurate facts and locations.
My three main characters are Sir Alex Campbell, a successful
Scottish businessman, whose family left Tarnow in Poland in 1892, to
escape pogroms, persecution and poverty. At the end of the
Second World War, he worked for British Army intelligence, and
subsequently handled “little jobs” for the British Secret
Anna Kaluza, was the daughter of an aristocratic Polish family, whose estates were overrun by the invading German Army in September, 1939. Her mother, four months pregnant with Anna, had to flee, eventually landing up in the Russian lines and shipped with thousands of other Polish women and children to a collective farm labor camp south of Stalingrad.
Anna was born in the camp in 1940. She never met her father, who perished in the Second World War, and spent her first eight years in various camps before emigrating to Australia with her mother and brother. She grew into a beautiful, tall, blonde athletic young woman who eventually returned to Poland in the late 60s with her family, having been recruited by the British SIS.
Professor Erik Keller was a teenager in Tarnow in 1939 when the German Army marched in. Over the next three years, he watched with increasing horror, as half of the Jewish population of the town were killed or transported to concentration camps. His father arranged for his escape to the surrounding forest, where he eventually joined a group of partisans sabotaging German convoys. He survived the War, only to find that his whole family had died in the Holocaust. There was no Jewish family left in Tarnow, and so he made his way to Warsaw, where he eventually entered the University, studying physics, married into a staunch Catholic family without revealing his background, and ultimately became one of the world’s leading Nuclear Physicists.
These three main characters are drawn together in February 1983 at the height of the Cold War. Poland is under the grip of Martial Law. They are there to help Professor Keller and his wife defect to the West.
The characters and personalities that I’ve created are based on part on people I have known or met over many decades.
What kind of research did you do to write this
My book took three years to complete and involved extensive research. I have a cousin in London England, who traced our family history back to 1760. He then published this as an award-winning genealogical research. I was able to use this historical background, coupled with research from Google on various events and locations.
Tell us more about Sir Alex Campbell. What was he like? Would he have been pleased with this book and how did you go about creating him?
Sir Alex Campbell, my lead character, is a successful Scottish-born entrepreneur in the international Beverage Alcohol Industry. In 1945 at the age of nineteen, he was drafted into the British Intelligence Corps. He was at the Battle of the Bulge, where his best friend died, and personally saw the unspeakable horrors of the Nazi Concentration Camp – Bergen-Belsen when he was sent to review the liberation. Shortly thereafter, while interrogating a German officer, he was attacked, wounded in the shoulder, and saw the officer commit suicide by slitting his own throat. These traumatic events stayed with him over many decades and impacted his life and personality. Alex is a natural leader, who reveals little of his emotions. This helped him develop his negotiating skills in his business career. He is strong and adventurous, a combination of many people that I’ve met over my 40+ years in the Scotch Whisky industry. A man of considerable charm and integrity, I believe he would have been pleased with this book.
What was the most difficult part of writing your book and were there any obstacles in trying to tell your story?
Creating the back story for each of the three main characters. I wanted the reader to understand the background and personality of each of these characters, and in order to do that, I took the reader through their long history, leading up to their being drawn together in Poland in 1983. It is difficult to keep the story interesting and moving along, while one explains their different backgrounds. I also faced some obstacles in trying to bring out the emotional strengths and weaknesses of Anna Kaluza. Trying to understand a female perspective is quite a challenge.
What was your secret in keeping the intensity of the plot throughout the narrative?
From the very first paragraph, I tried to get the message to the reader that this was an espionage novel. I then gave extensive history to the main characters, gradually leading them through the years to the final part of the book involving politics, bribery, murder, and escape from behind the Iron Curtain.
Can you tell us how you found representation for your book? Did you pitch it to an agent, or query publishers who would most likely publish this type of book? Any rejections? Did you self-publish?
Finding representation was extremely difficult. Through personal contacts and also cold calls, I pitched both literary agents and publishers. I received nearly twenty rejections. Eventually through one of my contacts, I was introduced to Morrison McNae who liked my manuscript and agreed to publish. I worked with their talented editor in creating the final manuscript for publication. Getting published is definitely a challenge. However, this is not the end of the story. Getting sales is even more difficult. This is an arduous, time-consuming process over many months. One is continually looking for the “break-through” that will lead to success.
How are you going about promoting your book?
Primarily through online publicity, my Website www.bearanyburden.com, and:
Spy fiction sites, blogging and Google. I’ve also been doing speaking engagements, book signings, library discussion groups, and I will be participating in an author’s weekend in Lexington Kentucky at the end of January.
Is there anything else you wish to share with us and how can our readers find out more about you and your book?
Readers should check my website www.bearanyburden.com and also look up my name Ellis M. Goodman on Google or on the Web for various blogs and reviews as indicated above.
My website also includes a short video describing my book, my Bio, and a Hollywood Casting Director Contest, in which the reader is asked to cast actors for the leading roles in what might be a movie version of BEAR ANY BURDEN. I currently have two well-established movie producers looking at the project. You never know!
Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors.Click Here To Purchase and/or Find Out More About Bear Any Burden