Saturday 30 August 2014

Author Interview & Giveaway - The End of Innocence by Allegra Jordan

The End of Innocence
by Allegra Jordan
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Pages: 320 pages
Language: English
Format: Hardcover

Book Summary:
On the eve of WWI, two students fall in love in Harvard's hallowed halls and must face a world at war from opposing sides

Helen Windship Brooks is struggling to find herself at the world-renowned Harvard-Radcliffe University when brooding German poet Wils bursts into her life. As they fall deeply in love on the brink of WWI, anti-German sentiments mount and Wils' future at Harvard-and in America-is in increasing danger. When Wils is called to fight for the Kaiser, Helen must decide if she is ready to fight her own battle for what she loves most.

From Harvard's hallowed halls to Belgium's war-ravaged battlefields, The End of Innocence is a powerful new vision of finding love and hope in a violent, broken world.

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Praises for The End of Innocence

“Reminiscent of Jacqueline Winspear’s Maise Dobbs books without the mystery, this novel explores the complications involved when war becomes personal.  Jordan builds empathetic characters and an intriguing story…”   — Library Journal

 "Allegra Jordan's The End of Innocence is a moving ode to a lost generation. With lyrical prose and rich historical detail, Jordan weaves a tale in which love overcomes fear, hope overcomes despair, and the indelible human spirit rises up to embrace renewal and reconciliation in the face of loss and destruction."  —Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of The Traitor’s Wife

 “…a thoughtful work that offers an interesting perspective on the period.” — Booklist

Author Interview

1. What inspired you to write your first book?
I was surprised by a war memorial I saw at my alma mater Harvard University.  This was the first memorial I’ve come across that was to the opposing side. I had seen many war memorials before but never one to the “enemy.” I didn’t know you could do that. But you can! And it’s often a good idea though one that will be controversial. But moreover, I adore a good love story where everyone wears beautiful clothes so that’s why I chose to focus on a time-period that was very similar to Downton Abbey. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine.

2. Do you have a specific writing style?
My first novel was written from a third person point of view, like a Jane Austen novel. That style creates a sense of emotional constraint that the Boston culture is still known for. My next novel will be from a first person point of view. Each allows the author to do different things.

3. How did you come up with the title for your book?
My wonderful publisher at Sourcebooks came up with it, and I really liked it. It’s a tip of the hat to Edith Wharton’s AGE OF INNOCENCE. Wharton’s classic novel ends with the idea that one can keep a stiff upper lip and get over personal challenges. My novel is about a challenge so catastrophic that new solutions are needed.

4. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I’d love for people to go away being challenged in the same way Copeland challenges his students in the first chapter. He says that things will get dark and bad, but don’t forget that there is renewal in life. We have to remember both the good and the bad or otherwise we’ll have an inaccurate view of life and miss important messages.

5. How much of the book is realistic?
An historical fiction writer should not pull their readers out of his or hers reverie with a mistake. So much of the story is based in fact, especially the war details.

6. What book are you reading now?
I am reading The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure. It’s fascinating!

7. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I love Allison Pataki, a new author who just came out with The Traitor’s Wife. I love her topics and writing style.

8. What are your current projects?
I’m writing a novel about a cheesemaker in the rural American South who makes the best cheese in America but unfortunately her cheese is made with an illegal ingredient, raw milk, and she is in trouble with the law. My novel is a little like Chocolat. That book is set during France’s high holy season (Lent.) My novel is set in the South’s high holy season (football). I’ve gained 10 pounds while researching cheese and attending tailgates.

9. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that I love to write and would do it every minute of every day if it weren’t so much hard work!

10. What were the challenges (research, psychological etc) in bringing your story to life?
The primary challenge in bringing the story to life was figuring out what I thought about the issue of divided loyalties. It’s very complicated. If these problems were easy we’d have solved them!  I really loved the research, so I felt it was a delight to dig into certain topics like women’s rights or censorship, figure out what was going on, and then figure out if that fact would delight or bore my reader. I hope that what I have in the book is just the right amount of research and not too little or too much.

About the Author
Allegra Jordan is a writer and global innovation consultant.  She led marketing at for four years and has taught innovation in sixteen countries and five continents. Her work has appeared in USA Today, TEDx , and others.

A graduate with honors of Harvard Business School, she was named a top executive under 40 in Austin, Texas, and Birmingham, Alabama, and has been invited to peak in London, New York, and Boston.  The End of Innocence is her first novel.

Author Links:
Website ¦ Facebook ¦ Twitter ¦ Goodreads


2 print copies of The End of Innocence up for grabs.

Ends September 18th (midnight GMT).

US & Canada only.

Contest is void where prohibited. Entrants must be 13 or else have parent or guardian’s permission to enter.

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