Thursday, February 12, 2015

Kristin Hannah's thoughts on love and war...plus a book giveaway

Photo credit: Charles Bush
There's no question that we love having Kristin Hannah visit CLC. This time, she's here with a labor of love...her latest novel, The Nightingale This powerful and compelling story is about two sisters, separated by years and experience, as well as ideals, passion, and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France. Just trust me that you won't be able to put it down and it will stay in your head long after you've finished. Thanks to St. Martin's Press, one lucky US reader has the chance to find this out when they win a copy right here!

If you don't know who Kristin Hannah is by now, head to a bookstore and get at least one of her books. You won't be disappointed! Aside from her latest novel, I personally recommend Firefly Lane, Home Front, Winter Garden, and The Things We Do for Love. There are still more of her books in my TBR pile, so I may be recommending those in the future! In the meantime, visit her website and Facebook page.

What do you feel makes The Nightingale stand out from all other books about WWII and/or the Holocaust?
That's the real challenge to writing about World War II. There have been so many wonderful movies and novels and books about the time period. I felt the pressure to be fresh and original pretty keenly while I was writing. I think that what makes my novel stand out from the wealth of WWII literature is its focus on the women. Most of what we read and see about the war is male-driven. It is a personal passion of mine to tell the stories of ordinary women in extraordinary times, and the women of the French Resistance really fit that bill. I truly believe that their heroism was all too often overlooked or forgotten, and I think it's important to remember. To ask ourselves even now, seventy years later, when would we risk our lives, and our children's lives, to save a stranger.

Which of the sisters do you identify with more in the novel?
Well, Isabelle was easier to write because she--naively--saw the world in black and white. For her there was no dilemma. She saw the evil around her and she acted instantly, without regard to the danger she was putting herself in. But then again, she wasn't a wife or a mother. She only had her own life and her own needs to consider. For me, Vianne's story was fraught with danger and dilemma and fear. She--like me--was a mother, trying to save her child during an impossibly dangerous time, with a Nazi living in her home, watching her every move. So, I guess I identify more with Vianne's struggle and with her character.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to an aspiring novelist?
It's hard to limit my advice to one piece, but if I had to do it, I would say, BEGIN. That is the hardest part of writing, and the single act of beginning, of committing, is paramount. I think you need to say you are starting to write a novel or a play or a screenplay or a short story. Whatever you've chosen. And you need to tell people so that they will ask you often about your progress. It's a great motivator. Then you need to write.

Who would you cast as some of the lead characters if The Nightingale were made into a movie?
I don't generally cast my characters in my head, although I know some authors do. I am such a huge fan of movies that what I really care about in optioning my novel is to pair with a great writer and director who create their own vision based on my work. I imagine they will surprise me with casting.

Since Valentine's Day is around the corner, share a favorite Valentine's Day memory with us.
It may not sound very romantic, but my favorite Valentine's Day memory was my son's first Valentine's Day in kindergarten, when all the kids gave out valentines. My son and I made hand-drawn cards and attached candy to each one and he was so thrilled to give out those cards and so thrilled to receive his in return.

Which book are you looking forward to reading?
The next book on my TBR pile is Lisa Gardner's Crash and Burn. I can't wait to get home from my tour so I can start it.

Thanks to Kristin for visiting with us and to St. Martin's Press for sharing The Nightingale with our readers.

~Introduction and interview by Melissa Amster

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here.

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US only. Giveaway ends February 17th at midnight EST.

38 comments:

Janine Rowe said...

My most favorite Valentine's memory happened when I was with my ex. On our first Valentine's Day together we exchanged cards and opened them together. We both gave each other the exact same card. We laughed about it for years.

Bonnie Franks said...

My favorite valentine memory is when my son had his first job (he was like 11) and he bought me a little felt tuxedo guy with a silk flower. It was just sweet that he would spend money on me. Of course I still have the little tuxedo guy twenty some years later.

susieqlaw said...

My favorite Valentine memory is a special date.

Sharon said...

My favorite Kristin Hannah - so far - is Night Road. I've never cried so much reading a book and because it moved me so much, I'll never forget it.

Rhonda J G said...

They all have been....my birthday is Valentine's Day!

Nova said...

favorite memory is when i got my first handmade Valentine card as a Mom from my oldest son when he was in kindergarten. i still have it (plus alot more since i have 4 kids)!

traveler said...

My favorite Kristin Hannah novel is The Winter Garden. Memorable. thanks.

Shelby N. said...

I LOVE Kristin's books! My favorite is Firefly Lane.

Linda Kish said...

I want to read Firefly Lane and
Fly Away.

Jennifer Huelsebusch said...

I really enjoyed Firefly Lane and am looking forward to Fly Away which I just recently bought.

Jeryl M. said...

Our wedding song is Valentine because my husband and I started dating around Valentine's day.

huelsebusch@earthlink.net said...

Favorite novel is The Winter Garden

Amber Kuehler said...

My favorite KH book is Firefly Lane!

Holly said...

The sweet Valentines I got from my kids!

NCooper said...

Winter Garden is by far my favorite Kristin Hannah novel! I keep hoping for a film adaptation.

Colleen Turner said...

I think I need to hide my head in shame and say I haven't yet read one of Ms. Hannah's wonderful books! I have The Winter Garden but just haven't had the time to read it yet. The Nightingale is at the top of my wish list though because I love historical fiction and every single review I've read about this book just says it is phenomenal. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

NCooper said...

I can't recommend Winter Garden enough! My book club loved it too. I own it in hardback and audio, and read or listen to it every winter. Such an engrossing historical fiction novel. Happy reading!

Bonnie K. said...

Unfortunately, my husband considers Valentine's Day to be a commercial holiday. Just being a great guy is good enough for me. The last book I've read of Kristin Hannah's is The Home Front which was a great story.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

Rita said...

I enjoyed The Winter Garden.

jpetroroy said...

I loved Firefly Lane.

Kathy A. LaMaster said...

My favorite Valentine memory is when my then husband and I agreed not to buy each other anything. All day long I wished for pink roses. I could not get pink roses out of my mind. My husband came home from work with the most beautiful bouquet of a dozen pink roses! I was thrilled!

Anita Yancey said...

My favorite book of Kristin's is Firefly Lane. Thanks for having the giveaway.

Vivian Vereeke said...

My favorite Valentines day was a year I was feeling down and my sister surprised me with a mug full of flowers. She is a wonderful sister and now that I an disabled, she still looks after me, making sure I'm ok.

Jan Hall said...

My favorite memory is when my hubby cut out a bunch of paper hearts and hid them throughout the house

Meg Munson said...

My favorite book of Kristin's is Firefly Lane!

Glenda Hefty said...

No particular valentine memory. I am fairly certain I have read Kristen Hannah in the past but don't recall any titles. I do know from all I've read that The Nightengale is one that must be read.

Susan @ The Book Bag said...

I loved Night Road. My book club read it and they all loved it too. I think it touched me so much because I have children and I could imagine myself in that situation. I had a good cry with that novel.

bn100 said...

would read The Nightingale

Summer Grinstead said...

My favorite KH novel is Firefly Lane. Such a great book!

Carol Fragale Brill said...

My mom's funeral was on February 13, so always lots of Valentine's memories of her

rubynreba said...

My favorite Valentine story is that I received my beautiful engagement from my husband to be on Valentines' Day 22 years ago!

rubynreba said...
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Melanie Backus said...

Favorite Valentine memories....getting beautiful cards from my hubby.

Angleterre71 said...

My favorite Kristin Hannah book is Fly Away since that's the last one I read. :) Love her and her books!

Bridget O'Neill said...

My favorite Kristin Hannah book is Firefly Lane. I love her books, but they make me cry!

Hailey Fish said...

Night Road!

cpr040304 said...

We were picking up a few items at Sprouts on Valentine's Day at night and my three kids each surprised me with a heart balloon in the store. I love my children!

Kelly M said...

My favorite Kristin Hannah is The Winter Garden.