Berlin Wall

Thousands Protest Removal of Wall

  In 1989, tens of thousands of protesters tore down the Berlin Wall. But as The New York Times points out, the irony is that in 2013 people are protesting because they want the Wall to stay...

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...

Canton Comes Through Again

One of the highlights of 2011 was the One Book, One Community program in Canton, Ohio, which adopted The Disappearing Man as its featured book. The Canton Repository newspaper continues its support with a...

The Puzzle People on CBS in Champaign

I did an interview on my Berlin novel, "The Puzzle People," this past week in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Wall came down on November 9, 1989,...

The Kiss

Why Is Brezhnev Kissing Honecker on The Berlin Wall? It's called "The Kiss" or "The Kiss of Death." And it is perhaps the most famous image that appears in Berlin's East Side Gallery--a nearly mile-long...

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...

The Church From Below

How the Church Helped Bring Down the Berlin Wall With the last name of "Fuhrer," he made an unlikely German hero. His full name was Christian Fuhrer, and this pastor led a movement that helped to...

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...

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...

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...