I’d like to welcome B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Elisabeth Marrion to talk with me today about her book, Liverpool Connection. Elizabeth was born August 1948, in Hildesheim Germany. Her father was a Corporal in the Royal Air Force and stationed after the War in the British occupied zone in Germany, where he met her mother Hilde, a War Widow.
As a teenager she enjoyed reading novels and plays by Oscar Wilde, Thornton Wilder and never lost her love of reading novels by Ernest Hemingway, or short stories by Guy de Maupassant. More recently she felt inspired by Rabbit-proof Fence, a true story written by Doris Pilkington.
Elisabeth moved to England in 1969, where she met her husband David. Together they established a clothing importing company. Their business gave them the opportunity to travel and work in the Sub Continent and the Far East. A large part of their working life was spent in Bangladesh, where both helped to establish a school in the rural part of the Country, training young people in trades such as sign writing, electrical work and repair of computers and televisions.
Elisabeth discovered her love for writing relatively late, but the good thing is, now she doesn’t seem to be able to stop.
For inspiration she put on her running shoes for a long coastal run at the New Forest, where she now lives.
How did you discover IndieBRAG
First of all, I must thank you Stephanie, for taking time to talk with me.
I discovered indieBRAG through several ways really, but I will just mention three, which are: through my wonderful publishing team at SilverWood, who encourage each writer to spread themselves as far across the spectrum as possible; through writer Debbie Brown, from the English Historical Fiction Authors; and of course writer Helen Hollick from the HNS. Both Debbie and Helen provide the writers with updates via the Social Media to ensure they are aware of all the possibilities out there.
Tell me about your book, Liverpool Connection
Liverpool Connection is Annie’s story. Annie, like her sisters before her, leaves Ireland together with her ever-optimistic friend Flo, to find a better life in Liverpool. Only things do not turn out they way she had imagined. Soon Annie falls in love, marries and starts a family of her own. But with the onset of World War II comes tragedy and loss, testing Annie’s strength to her limit. Little does she realise that the salvation of one of her loved ones, lies with Hilde, a German woman, whose life and situation mirrors Annie’s own.
Why did Annie and her friend chose Liverpool to find a better life?
There was very little work available in Ballyshannon at that time. Yarn and Textile Mills were in decline. Annie dreamed of life in a big city and had the security of her sisters living and working there already. So what could possible go wrong ?
Why did you chose 1926 as the opening period for your story? Is there any historical significance?
Liverpool Connection is based upon a true story and Annie left Ireland in the 1920’s. I then picked the year to be 1926, which was the same year as Hilde, the German woman, leaves the security of her home in Prussia to work in a household in Berlin.
Tell me a little about the German woman, Hilde, that Annie meets.
Annie and Hilde never meet in person but the connection between them was through Joseph, a young Corporal in the RAF, who is looking for his friend, Annie’s brother-in-law. His plane was shot down over Hildesheim where Hilde lived. Hilde was my mother and Joseph was my father.
Could you please share an excerpt?
“Dorothy. Run!” She managed to shout before she started to cough.
Aircraft noises drowned out Annie’s instructions. She hurried after Dorothy. A whistling sound, silence, then a massive boom, which seemed to be really close by. The earth shook under her feet, and Annie fell to the ground, dropping Derek when she fell.
“Derek!” Nobody heard Annie’s cry for help. She was alone, lying on the ground, unable to move. From fear or shock, she did not know, but her legs refused to carry her weight. There was burning rubble near to where Derek had fallen. He managed to get up by himself. Covered in dirt, he toddled over to where she lay. He did not cry, just sat on the ground next to Annie. The planes came back. She imagined them to be somewhere right above her in the dark sky. She pulled Derek over by his arm. And covered him with her body as best she could. One arm over Derek and with the other shielding her head. Noises, threatening noises. Deafening sounds. The earth underneath would not keep still. And hot, so hot. My children, I hope they are safe. She must have said it out loud. She felt somebody pulling her at the back of the coat.
Who designed the cover of your book?
The wonderful creative team from SilverWood. I was asked whether I had my own idea and supplied just a tiny bit and then ‘voila’ the cover arrived.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
Since the story runs side-by-side with my first book, ‘ The Night I danced with Rommel’ and the connection between the two books is Liverpool, the title could only be this one.
Where can readers buy your book?
It can be bought via Amazon, printed, kindle and audio.
Plus Bookstores in the UK.
When you get stuck on a scene what do you do?
I get up and walk around. In extreme cases, I put my running shoes on and go for a run on the coastal path. This is something I have always done when I have had to solve a problem.
What you working on next?
So much for the Unbroken Bonds series being a trilogy. It is my late husband David’s fault really. When I read the final chapter and epilogue to him from Cuckoo Clock-New York, he asked me what was happening to Thomas. Yes, you may well ask. You will have to find out in Welcome to Singapore, the prologue of which will be in the forthcoming book.
Are you sticking with just one genre?
No, I had already started with a totally different idea. But now, thanks to David, I will have to tell Thomas’s story first.
Where do you write?
I like to get up early, usually around 5am. I make myself a cup of really strong coffee and take it into my office. I first go over the chapter I wrote the day before and make adjustments. I then start on the next chapter. I write about 800 – 900 words a day. I have this habit of getting up every so often, walking around.-to clear my head a presume. Then I sit down and carry on.
A Message from indieBRAG:
We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview Elizabeth Marrion who is the author of, Liverpool Connection, our medallion honoree at indieBRAG . To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion TM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, Liverpool Connection, merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.