Germany

A Wrong Turn in History

A wrong turn triggered World War I. To find out how, check out a recent story that I wrote for the University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. A Wrong Turn in History  

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 Do You Say ‘Oops’ in German?

A Bureaucrat's Mistake Led to the Fall of the Berlin Wall In a country loaded with bureaucrats, it seems oddly fitting that a bureaucratic blunder would lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall. To set...

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...

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...

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 1914 Truce Tells a Timeless Truth

Who would have thought that a supermarket company's commercial could capture one of the most poignant moments in a bloody war--World War I? The Christmas season is behind us, but I have to mention the...

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 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...

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...