Germany

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...

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...

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...

YouTube Witnesses the Fall of the Wall

In my novel, The Puzzle People, I place one of my main characters, Stefan Hansel, at a pivotal point in the history of the Cold War. I place Stefan at the Bornholmer Strasse border...

‘The Puzzle People’ is Out on eBooks–But Who Are the Puzzle People?

Solving a 600-Million-Piece Puzzle My new novel, The Puzzle People, hasn't quite hit the shelves yet. But it has hit the webosphere and is now available for download on Kindle, Nook, IBook, and other electronic...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...