Monday, September 18, 2017

Erin Eldrige ~ character interview and her novel

TITLE: “Days of Insult”
RELEASE DATE: April 30, 2017
AUTHOR: Erin Eldridge
CATEGORIES: Historical Fiction/Romance
ISBN: 978-1543006971
IMPRINT: White Stag

KEYWORDS: War, Partisan, Love, Betrayal, Canada, Refugee, Explosives

Hitler’s troops invade Russia and Sacha Mikhailov’s life is changed forever. Forced into early manhood, he joins his country’s bitter struggle against the Nazi invader.

When the Germans invade his country in 1941, Russian youth, Sacha Mikhailov, becomes a part of the titanic struggle on the Eastern Front. Fighting first as a partisan, operating with his detachment from deep in the forest, he learns the skills of sabotage and ambush. He makes friends, falls in love, and endures the enemy’s vicious onslaught to wipe out the partisans once and for all. As the Russians push the Germans back, Sacha joins the Red Army and his war continues on into the capitals of Europe where he formulates a plan which will set his life on a radically different course.


Erin: How did the German invasion of your country in 1941 impact on you, personally?

Sacha: It was a shock because we thought they were our allies. At first, it didn’t impact on me much because ours was a secluded village so life just went on as normal. I went to school, helped my mother, spent time with friends. My papa died before the war. Mama continued to earn some money with her sewing. We had a comfortable life with few luxuries.

Erin: How did it all change?

Sacha: That was the most terrible day of my life, when the SS arrived in our village early one morning. My mother knew what was going to happen and she forced me outside, ordering me to hide in the woods.  I learned later that the village was destroyed in a reprisal action because local partisans had killed a top SS officer.

Erin: What happened after you fled?

Sacha: I was picked up by some partisans in the forest. They took me to their camp. It was a long way and I was exhausted by the time we got there. I remember feeling very hungry too.

Erin: What was it like, settling into a new life with the partisans?

Sacha: It was hard. I was only 15 and my life had changed so suddenly. I didn’t want to stay at first and I hated the leader, but after a while I made friends with Nicolai and Lev, the cook. When I trained to become the otriad’s dynamiter, I was very proud. I always loved science and technical stuff so I loved working with explosives and coming up with strategies to outwit the Germans. By this time I was 16.

Erin: Can you talk about Elena?

Sacha: Yes, I can talk about her. I was just a boy when I fell in love with her, but I was a man in so many other ways. It was the kind of love that lasts a lifetime. The war brought us together. She’ll always be a part of me. That’s all I want to say.

Erin: You went on to join the Red Army and drive tanks. Can you tell me about that?

Sacha: It was hard, very hard, but also the greatest part of my war experience. My fellow tankers were my brothers and we lived and fought as one. We were all so young. If you were 20 years old we thought you were ancient! We fought for our country and each other.

Erin: Do you have any regrets about how your life turned out?

Sacha: No, none. I count my blessings and I’m thankful for all the good people who helped me and for all the love I’ve received. I made it. Millions didn’t.

Erin: Thank you, Sacha. It’s been a pleasure.

Sacha: Same

I live in Christchurch, New Zealand. The city is still rebuilding after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. I have been a teacher for most of my life, most recently, a teacher of deaf students. Currently, I do part time support work with International students at a boys’ college. I’ve taught overseas as well, in Africa and in Brunei. I have two children, one of who, my daughter, lives in the UK and the other, my son, lives around the corner! I started writing two years ago and have completed four books: a contemporary romance, two war stories and a medieval fantasy. I have many more ideas for stories yet to come.


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