Friday, 29 April 2016

An interview with...

… author Olga Swan.  Welcome to my blog Olga, your time is prescious so let’s find out what your current release is shall we?
Available from April 29th
OS  Thank you Angela for hosting me on your prestigious blog.  It’s much appreciated. Today, 29th April, is the release date for my novel Vichyssoise.
AW  Congratulations on the book and you’re very welcome.  Hmm…prestigious!  Wow!  That’s the best thing anyone's said about the blog thus far, thank you.  So, what first got you into writing and why?
OS  I started writing Vichyssoise when I retired with my husband to France in 2005.  I remember trekking to the tiny library in our village of Varen in the Midi-Pyrénées to search out essential source material in the original French on the wartime Vichy leader, Philippe Pétain.  It seemed to me, from talking to the older locals, that there was much suppressed about the whole sorry episode so I was determined to write something about it.  I do hope that both you and your readers will be able to join me online at my Facebook launch event later this morning.  Just click on this link and say ‘Hi’:
AW  Yes, I’ll certainly be there at 10.00 am UK time.  Sorry, you were about to say…
The prequel to Vichyssoise
OS  The Holocaust period is very poignant to me as past generations of my family are listed as victims in the Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem.  On Facebook recently there was a comment that people should forget what happened and move on.  What I’ve tried to explain in the Foreword and Appendix of Vichyssoise is that this mentality is simply ill-thought-out.  Century after century man has fought others simply because they are ‘different’ from him, allying with those with whom you identify somehow making you feel more comforted.  (You only have to see this expressed today at any football match!)  It’s, therefore, so important that everyone reads, learns from history and recognises the insidious build-up to conflict so that nothing like the Holocaust of innocent citizens can ever happen again.
AW  You write mainly historical novels.  Is it all imagination or do you also undertake research?
OS  I often think that the historical genre is the most difficult of all.  Not only do you need imagination to build your fictitious characters and plot, you must also ensure historical accuracy with the real events that are happening in the background.  This takes an awful lot of research, especially in the appropriate, original language.
A crime novel
AW  And what about other types of writing?  Have you ever dabbled with short stories, for instance, or other genres?
OS  I suppose I’m unusual in that I’ve published (some self-published) full-length literature in several genres including humour, children’s (with my real name of Gillian Green), science fiction and crime; see my Amazon author page link below.
AW  Famous authors, such as Roald Dahl and Dylan Thomas, had a special space for writing.  Do you have a writing ‘shed’ of your own?
OS  We currently live in a large house in S.W. France, so I’m very fortunate to have a separate office/study, well away from the salon, kitchen etc.  This helps me concentrate when I’m searching for inspiration!
AW  Finally, if you had a whole afternoon to yourself and could choose to spend it with anyone, living or dead. Who would it be, and what would you want to discuss?
OS  One of my heroes from the past is Winston Churchill.  (It was interesting to hear the other day on TV that Obama also liked him.)  I would love to discuss that famous, underground, wartime Cabinet meeting in 1940 which he chaired as the new PM.  Most of the Cabinet were in favour of appeasing Hitler except for one, drunken, man called Greenwood.  If it hadn’t been for Greenwood standing up and telling everyone that there was no way Britain should sign an accord with Hitler, who knows what would have happened!  I certainly would not be here writing this if the vote had gone the other way.  That is what I would like to discuss with Churchill :  ‘As PM and an honourable Cabinet Chairman, what would you have done if there had been a majority vote to collaborate with Adolf Hitler?’

Karin Schmidt, a former German citizen working for the British government, has disappeared during a spying mission in south-west France.  Reporter, David Klein, is tasked with her search, which he gladly undertakes, despite the risks.  In 1939, Karin had helped a Jewish family escape from Germany - and rescued him from Kletschkau prison.  He owes her his life.  But will he be in time to save her?
Set agains the historical background of the Vichy government, the story shows an explosove Adolf Hitler and an irascilble Winston Churchill, culminating in Philippe Pétain's nai-biting trial for treason. David Klein and Karin Schmidt live through agonising times of danger.

You can buy the books using the links below :

LAMPLIGHT : Book 1 of the David Klein War Reporter series is available on :
VICHYSSOISE : Book 2 of the David Klein series is available on :
Other books are available on Olga's Amazon page at :
Her children's books are availablew on :

You can catch up with Olga on her blog at : 

No comments:

Post a Comment