Author Interview Secret Betrayal

2940150636361_p0_v1_s260x420I’m interviewing Michael Williamson today, author of “Secret Betrayal”, a thrilling World War II novel. I got the opportunity to ask the author some questions, and I’m thrilled to share the responses with you all. I hope you enjoy the interview!

1.       How long have you been writing?    

It seems like forever.  I have always wanted to be a writer. After graduation from college, the Vietnam War got in the way for a few years. Back in America, it was time to begin writing the book I had carried around in my head for years. For over a year I did nothing but write. However, as the story unfolded, I realized I did not have one book, I had four. I could not do it any other way. I had two or three more years of writing to finish what I had started.
But, you can not hold back the world. Life moves forward and the woman who was supporting me while I wrote, told me  to get a job or she was leaving. I went to work and wrote nights and weekends. It became a habit and I wrote the rough drafts of five novels over a 40 year business career.  When I retired, about seven years ago, I began to finalize these drafts. This is the second of those books. So, I guess you could say I have been really writing for seven years.
2.       What is your favorite genre to write? 
I can’t say I have a favorite genre. I like them all, but love combined with action and adventure seems to provide a palette that allows for great and varied expression. I think the hardest to write would be comedy.
3.       Which genre you have never tried before, but would like to try out?
Mystery is the answer. I have a four book series I am hard at work on now. After that a mystery is next.
4.       Please tell us about your book.
Secret Betrayal is woven into the fabric of the Allied invasion of Europe around Normandy, France in 1944.  I did extensive research to create a factual background I could weave my plot and characters through. In linear time it spans 90 days before the invasion and three days after.  But, dimensionally, it spans better than thirty years of Carla Offenbach’s life and spatially, it travels from London to Berlin and India to Canada.
At the heart of the book lies this secret: the date and location of the Allied invasion of Europe. In reality the Germans wanted the secret desperately and devised many ways to achieve their goal. As the novel unfolds and runs to conclusion, the reader is exposed to three reoccurring themes: the redemptive power of love, the evolutionary power of kundalini yoga, and the war within a war waged between Hitler’s two most powerful ministers., Reichsleiter Martin Bormann and Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler. So unfolds the compelling pages of Secret Betrayal.
5.       Which character was your favorite, and why?  Which character was your least favorite, and why?
Carla was my favorite character. In many ways she was evil, but as we progress through the novel, learning what formed her and witnessing the changes within her brought about by Roger, we see her emerging as a far more beautiful butterfly from a chrysalis forged by fear and love.
I love all my characters, but, Major Heinrich Muller is a deliciously nasty piece of work and remains true to form throughout the book.
6.       What was the hardest part about writing your book?
What I believe was the hardest part, is also the part I love the best. Taking the rough draft and word by word, sentence by sentence polishing it to its final form. I don’t believe a book is ever truly done. What occurs is the author finally reaches a point where the incremental changes made become so few and ever less impactful , further editing derives minimal benefit.
7.       What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?
I write 2 – 4 hours a day. However, I love to travel and when away from home, I do not write on a regular basis. I do continually lock in my mind’s eye the experiences that come with travel to new places. Often I will take notes on the details of a locale or occasion. To begin the writing day, my frame of mind is important. To return and focus into the proper emotional level, I revisit the previous days pages. They act an  anchor for what lies ahead.
8.        How long did you take to write your book from start to finish?
From start to finish Secret Betrayal took ten years to write.  There is a reason for the long stretch of years between start and finish. The reason is another novel.  I was well on my way with Secret Betrayal, when, what I thought was a truly compelling idea popped into my mind.
It was timely and I did not want to lose the momentum of the idea. I put Secret Betrayal away and began the new novel. It became my first published novel, The Dream of the Fathers. Once done it was back to Secret Betrayal.
9.       Can you tell us about your editing process?
Editing is a continual process. But, besides the constant fine tuning, I use three formal edit points. The first is after the completion of the rough draft. The manuscript goes out to two editors I have come to know over the years. Each of whom provides a different expertise and perspective.  When I have incorporated their editorial suggestions  that rewrite is complete. Next the manuscript undergoes a critical, typically month long,  grammar and syntax focused edit. I do a final rewrite.  When the galleys are set, a final edit  catches every last detail.
10.   Is this book part of a series? 
Secret Betrayal is not part of a series. It stands alone. However, the novel I am working on right now is the first book of a four book series. The books are entitled, Now Is Forever and each individual book is subtitled for the locale in which it is set. This first one is, Now is Forever  — Indochina.
11.   Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
My advice would be: Don’t give up! Maintain your vision at all cost. Although it feels to me like I have been writing forever, this is only my second book. But, I have a vision and with each book that vision becomes clearer and I can see improvement in my writing and how I craft a novel. That excites me and propels me forward.
12.   Why should everyone read your book?
Each of us has our own interests. I think everyone who enjoys a mixture of love, history, action and adventure will find Secret Betrayal a compelling read. It provides a context to revisit an extremely important era in world history, while exploring the yearnings of the human heart that leads some to love and others to death and destruction.
13.   If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?
They would be in this order: W. Somerset Maugham, Joseph Conrad and Ernest Hemingway.
14.   What inspired you to write your book?
My desire to write and the vagaries of love inspired me to combine the heights and depths of love and passion with the existence and reality of kundalini yoga and the insanity of Bormann and Himmler’s Germany.
15.   Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us about it?
As I mentioned previously, I am writing a series comprised of four books entitled, Now Is Forever. The subtitle of each volume is: Indochina, Hong Kong, Japan and Ryukyu Islands. I am halfway done with Indochina. It will be available in December 2015. It is the character study of a young American who, after the end of WWII, comes home to nothing but disappointment and looks to the Orient for a new beginning. The second novel, Hong Kong, begins in 1933 and is a character study of a young Asian woman  from 11 years old to her 23rd birthday and the fall of Hong Kong to Japan in 1941. The third book, Japan, is set in Tokyo during the Korean War. It brings together the man, Zachary  and the women Yuki,  from the previous books and engages us in the romance and adventure of Tokyo and Japan in the middle 50’s. What will occur? You will know as the books roll out.

About The Book

After escaping her abusive stepfather as a teenager, Carla Offenbach found sanctuary in Berlin. Years later, Carla is a woman of great wealth, the owner of one of the most wildly successful cabarets in Berlin, a city glittering with bright lights and lavish, carefree parties. But when the realities of war in Europe finally cast a shadow over Berlin, the German people are forced to retreat into their homes, leaving Carla no choice but to close the doors of her establishment. In a desperate attempt to save her own life and livelihood, Carla finally gives in to the brutish demands of her most devoted patron, Nazi party minister Reichsleiter Martin Bormann, a terrifying and ruthless man who dreams of succeeding the Fuhrer Adolf Hitler.

Michael Williamson’s exciting novel Secret Betrayal follows Carla and Collum in a heart-stopping journey through a world torn apart by war. Well-researched and full of adventure and intrigue, Secret Betrayal explores the redemptive power of love, even in times of unimaginable personal suffering and sacrifice. Fans of romance, adventure and historical fiction are sure to enjoy Williamson’s gripping novel.

Author Bio

Michael Williamson was born and raised in Southern California and currently lives in Bozeman, Montana. When he is not writing, Williamson spends his time ranching. His next novel, Now is Forever: Indochina, the first in a series, will be released next fall.

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