I want to thank Traci L. Slatton for taking the time to answer some of our questions. I hope you enjoy her answers. I especially liked her responses to her research and what made her Historical/Paranormal stand above the rest!
All the best and HAPPY READING!!
by Traci L. Slatton
Publication date: September 5, 2014
Power is pornographic
Can love sustain light when the forces of evil close in?
Paris, 1939-1942. A fallen angel is trapped in the web of German Occupation. The deadly noose of Nazi control grows ever tighter, ensnaring her and two of her lovers, a bullfighter and a musician working in the fledgling Resistance. Can she save them and the Jewish widow and her child that she has come to love, or will betrayal take them all?
Where to Find:
B & N
Tell us about “Broken”.
Broken is the story of a fallen angel in Paris under Nazi occupation, from 1939-1942. The main character is Alia Mercier, and she’s torn apart by the forces of war roiling through the world. She takes lovers and makes friends whom she loves deeply, and she faces loss and betrayal. She comes to terms with what it means to be human.
What made you want to become a writer?
When I was 6 years old, I went in a few months from reading “See Spot run” to reading novels. I was enthralled by reading. The first “big book” I read was called “Angel Unaware” and it was about a deceased child looking down on her family from heaven. It made a huge impact on me. I was moved to tears, and I thought, “I want to do this! I want to write stories that make people feel things so deeply!”
By the way, I just got that there must be a connection between that first novel I ever read and Broken, the one I’ve just written, since both feature angels!
Do you reflect people you know into your characters or do you prefer making them up on the fly?
Oh, good question, excellent question. I absolutely draw on people I know for my characters. But it’s not usually a one-to-one correspondence; usually I take one trait from one friend, relative or acquaintance and another trait from another and cobble them together until I have a three dimensional character who feels real. For example, I know a man who is very, very manipulative and constantly plays games. He has other qualities as well, but I drew on his manipulative nature to create the Gestapo agent Knochen.
What kind of research did you do for “Broken”?
I did A LOT of research for Broken. This novel is set in recent history, so I felt an urgency to get the details right. I read dozens of books and researched online, there are some wonderful internet resources for this time period. I also watched Youtube videos—the old black-and-white news videos from World War II are posted, and those are wonderful. Both from a point of view of a chronicle of the time and also from a propagandist perspective, they’re a rich source of information. I bought the documentary series “The Nazis: A Warning From History” and watched those, along with other documentaries on TV and Youtube. I also spoke to people about what their families were doing during the second world war. My husband knows a German man who was 15 when the Soviet army marched into Berlin, so I flew to Florida and interviewed him for three days, buying him scotch and letting him blow cigarette smoke into my face.
What themes might we find in “Broken”?
The themes concern the power of love and the fact that spirit informs everything.
Which character(s) do you think is the most like you?
Well, hmm. I think I put pieces of myself in several characters. I’ve been married with children for my entire adult life, so I never had a chance to experiment with numerous lovers, as Alia does. However, she has my appreciation for poetry, music, and good wine, my love for children, and my dislike of cooking. Suzanne, Alia’s beloved neighbor, lives a more conventional life, as I’ve had. Jeanne Bucher the gallerist has my penchant for a tart comeback and my dislike of authority.
What makes this book stand above the rest?
I think the combination of sensuality with spirituality and painstaking research will differentiate Broken from other historical novels set during WWII. Broken is not a book for children—there are graphic, explicit sexual scenes. Those aren’t gratuitous but are integral to the story. At the same time, Alia is a fallen angel, and she retains vivid memories of her time as one of the host. She is always aware of spirit, and she has visits from the Archangel Michael. Those visits too, are integral to the story.
This isn’t your first book. What other novels have you written and where can we find them?
Immortal, a historical novel, a rags-to-riches-to-burnt-at-the-stake story.
Fallen, a dystopian romance, Book 1 of the After Series, “When the world ends, all that’s left is love”
Cold Light, Book 2 of the After Series, “In the end, love demands everything”.
Far Shore, Book 3 of the After Series, “Love is Salvation”.
The Botticelli Affair, an art history mystery vampire romp.
The Love of My (Other) Life, a bittersweet sci fi rom com.
The Art of Life, a photoessay on figurative sculpture through the ages.
If your book could be a movie, who would play your main characters?
Fun! I would love to see Alia played by the woman who plays Virginia Johnson in the Showtime series Masters of Sex, Lizzy Caplan. Pedro could be played by Alejandro Nones or Diego Boneta or William Levy—some very hot Latino actor. Josef could be played by Daniel Radcliffe or Jesse Eisenberg. Suzanne could be played by Emilia Clark. Gestapo agent Knochen must be played by an exceedingly talented actor, someone like Christian Bale or Ryan Gosling or James Marsden.
What inspired you to write this book?
I spent a month in Paris in 2013, researching a different WWII novel, one set primarily in Germany. I had meant to use Paris as a base from which to travel into Germany, because I love Paris and can negotiate the language. I found myself walking the streets of Paris when I should have been writing. For hours and hours every day, I wandered around Paris, starting from the Boulevard du Montparnasse and straying into every arrondissement. I got to know the city from the street level. Then I started taking the walking tours, and reading about the history of Paris. Somehow all those kilometers of walking inspired Broken.
List three adjectives to describe your main character.
Alia: ethereal, tolerant, sensual.
What advice could you give fellow/aspiring writers?
Don’t give up! It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
What is your favorite historical movie?
A Room with a View
What is your favorite historical book?
Whom the Gods would Destroy by Richard Powell
Pen, Pencil, phone, tablet or computer?
Computer, baby, but never discount the analog blessings of pen and notecard!
Where are you from? Tell us about yourself.
My dad was an enlisted man in the US Navy, and I’m from around the country. I was born in Great Lakes, IL and lived in Groton, CT; Norfolk, VA; Millington, TN; and Olathe, KS.
Do you prefer paperback or e-books?
Paperbacks! Love the sensual feeling of paper on flesh.
List the last three books that you’ve read?
I am reading Dr. Jane Ely’s book Remembering the Ancestral Soul: Soul Loss and Recovery; I recently finished The Eternal Nazi by Kulish and Mekhennet; before that I read Top-Secret Twenty One by Janet Evanovich. My reading taste is eclectic!
What is the one thing you cannot live without?
My husband and children, and chocolate.
What is your favorite drink?
Crisp, cold, flinty white wine.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank?
My husband sculptor Sabin Howard. He is a model for me of artistic courage and integrity, and he has staunchly supported me as I write. I’m grateful for him and to him.
Do you have a book trailer?
Yes! I have a few.
For Fallen and Cold Light,
For The Love of My (Other) Life,
Traci L. Slatton is a graduate of Yale and Columbia, and the award-winning, internationally published author of books of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. She is also the founder of Parvati Press, an independent press which was recently recognized by the IRS as a 501(c ) (3) not-for-profit corporation.
She lives in Manhattan and her love for Renaissance Italy inspired her historical novelIMMORTAL, which was published around the world and achieved bestseller status in Italy, Russia, and Brazil. BROKEN tells the sensual, heart-rending story of a fallen angel in occupied Paris from 1939-1942. Her novel THE BOTTICELLI AFFAIR is a contemporary romp through the art history byways of vampire lore. Her novel FALLEN is the first of the acclaimed romanticAfter Series set during the end times. Its sequel COLD LIGHT and Book 3 FAR SHORE further the dystopian tale. The quirky, bittersweet sci fi love story THE LOVE OF MY (OTHER) LIFEseeks to answer the question: What worlds would you move for your soulmate?
DANCING IN THE TABERNACLE is her first book of poetry; PIERCING TIME & SPACE is a non-fiction look at the meeting of science and spirit. THE ART OF LIFE is a photo-essay of sculpture history and philosophy written with her husband Sabin Howard, whose work is also showcased.
Where to Find: Goodreads | Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook-TraciLynnSlatton | Facebook – traci.slatton