Monday, September 15, 2014

More about Spy Island

In honor of Spy Island's virtual book tour, I decided to give a little more information about the story behind the story. So without further ado, I present:  



Where did the idea of the book come from?

Spy Island blends real life events with fictional elements. It started out from an inspirational idea that I could weave an adventure story around the fact that the U.S. acquired the Danish West Indies in 1917. A little-known fact was that the island of St. Thomas had a well-entrenched German spy ring operating out in the open. Using this detail, I wove a narrative about an island girl who rescues a German U-boat deserter who is later blackmailed by the leader of this spy ring into committing sabotage and murder. The result is an old-fashioned spy thriller with an exotic Caribbean setting.

Charlotte Amalie: the site of an important WWI German Ettapendienst base.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Abigail Maduro:    Odeya Rush
Erich Seibold:        Daniel Brühl
Nana Jane:             Alfre Woodard
Cooky Betty:         Octavia Spencer
Judge Henrik Neergaard:   Bernard Hill
Herr Dreyer/Langsdorff:     Christoph Walz
Jens Jørgensen:      Max von Sydow
 

Odeya Rush: Does she make the perfect Abby?
Alfre Woodard is an extraordinary actress and would make a splendid Nana Jane.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your novel:

During WWI on the island of St. Thomas, a beautiful Sephardic Jewish girl helps a German war deserter and becomes embroiled in a German spy's plot to take over the Danish West Indies.

German actor Daniel Bruhl: would he play a convincing Erich?

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Three years.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Ever since I was a child growing up in Charlotte Amalie, I longed to know what life was like back during Danish times. When I grew up, I turned my obsession into a full-time job when I began researching and writing Spy Island, (which is called "Transfer Day" in the Virgin Islands). In the book, the reader will be transported back in time to a tropical Danish sugar colony in the West Indies at the height of the Great War when German spies operated throughout the Caribbean and Latin America under the noses of the authorities.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

"Spy Island" is historical fiction with espionage and romance elements, comparable to "Circle of Spies" or "Ring of Secrets" by Roseanna White, or "Spy of Richmond" by Jocelyn Green.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

Readers who love the Edwardian period through WWI will love "Spy Island" because it immerses the reader in that era. The period dancing and music, horse carriages, steamship travel, victrolas playing in the background…
"Spy Island" also boasts an international cast of quirky characters that range from a witty Irish sailor to Old World Danish characters, German spy characters, colorful West Indian characters and a spirited heroine who will capture your heart. So pour yourself a rum & coke, add a twist of lime, and let yourself be transported back to the old West Indies. You'll be in for an exciting adventure!


The Danish West Indies is a location rarely used in novels, movies, and plays.