Berlin Wall

Swords and Plowshares in the Heart of Berlin

When I was writing my novel The Puzzle People, I came across a photo of the Church of Reconciliation as it was being blown up in 1985 (shown on the left). But what caught...

Location, Location, Location: Doing Novel Research On-Site

NOTE—An earlier blog, Doing Your Research Right, discussed my research habits when writing historical novels. This is a follow-up blog.  *  *  * I guess I should have known what day it was when I showed...

How Prayer Brought Down the Berlin Wall

This week, as the world observed the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, one of the forgotten stories from the amazing year of 1989 was what took place in Leipzig, East...

The Blood Cries Out

Teenager's Death on the Wall is Still Remembered Almost 50 Years Later   Two teenage boys made a mad dash out of a deserted building, and the guards opened fire with automatic weapons from about fifty...

Rats!

Bill Bryson Shines a Light on Rats and Other Pests in His History of the Home One of the scenes in my new novel, The Puzzle People, features an escape through the Berlin sewer system--a...

Finding New Life in the Death Strip

An elderly man shoves two packages out of a fourth floor window, and then he crawls out and sits on the ledge, staring down at the ground below. Then slowly, carefully, he turns himself...

The World’s Largest Jigsaw Puzzle

BBC Radio 4 ran a compelling show last Friday about The Stasi Jigsaw Puzzle--the shredded documents that form the core of my novel, The Puzzle People. As the Berlin Wall was coming down so...

Wind of Change

One of the great things about researching my novel, The Puzzle People, was that I could go to Youtube and see videos taken of the Berlin Wall as it went up in 1961 and then came...

All Along the Watchtower

Berlin Trip Takes Me to the Site of the First Shooting Along the Wall Talk about timing. I spent the last two weeks in Austria and Berlin, in part to do research for my new novel...

1989: The Year That Changed the World

Big Brother Takes a Big Hit in 1989 George Orwell didn't quite get it right. His landmark novel, 1984, describes the 1980s as a time in which Big Brother is all-seeing and all-controlling. Little did...