1--What is the title of your latest release?
THE BOY WITH THE STAR TATTOO
2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?
Sharon, an assistant to an Israeli naval officer stationed in Normandy, France, is intent on tracing his orphan roots to the French village from where he had been rescued post-WWII. When she identifies the mother who had tragically lost him, Sharon is unprepared for the shock of her discovery.
3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?
It decided for me. Once I glimpsed the road sign “Cherbourg” while traveling in northern France, I knew that one day I would write about the daring Israeli action that had taken place there in 1969. As the story developed, though, my research led me also to the Loire Valley as a second thread.
4--Would you hang out with your protagonist in real life?
Definitely! She would be my BFF.
5--What are three words that describe your protagonist?
Feisty, vulnerable, determined.
6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?
I learned, yet again, that I enjoy asking questions as much as I enjoy finding the answers.
7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?
I edit all the time. I can’t continue to the next scene or chapter unless I’ve explored and developed the previous section.
8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?
9--Describe your writing space/office!
I have a dedicated office—a large desk and a deep, upholstered editing chair with an ottoman (covered with fabric printed with shoes). A water view is a must wherever I write—be it the ocean or just a water fountain. Since I moved during COVID, my few shelves carry only specialty books—directories, photography, Hebrew and French literature, or my past resources that became dear friends. Next to my desk rests a box of current research material that accompanies me as I move from my summer cottage in Long Island, NY, to my winter apartment in Boca Raton, Florida (where my L-shaped desk is in the living room and must be kept neat.)
10--Who is an author you admire?
11--Is there a book that changed your life?
When I was about eleven, I discovered a translation of “Nobody’s Girl” by the French writer Hector Malot. It affected me profoundly, and I reread it many times. Only decades into adulthood did I realize that I was following the protagonist’s footsteps in striving to make the world a better place for women.
12--Tell us about when you got “the call.” (When you found out your book was going to be published)/ Or, for indie authors, when you decided to self-publish.
The big moment was in 2009, when, having had two novels released by small publishers, I found a home for JERUSALEM MAIDEN with HarperCollins. Since then, I’ve had a pretty good sense that my editor, who only knows the general topic I work on, will be interested once the manuscript is completed. But back in 2009, the talks with HarperCollins were six-months of heart-wrenching on-off-on roller coaster ride until my then-agent despaired. Only after I gave her a pep-talk did she go back and closed the deal.
13--What’s your favorite genre to read?
Literary fiction—boring people doing nothing, yet the prose carries me forward like music I don’t wish to end. I can’t put down these books even while another part of my brain questions the elusive plots…
14--What’s your favorite movie?
The Sound of Music.
15--What is your favorite season?
16--How do you like to celebrate your birthday?
I love big parties to mark milestone (and semi-milestone) birthdays. One day I hope to have fireworks.
17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?
I was engrossed in the eight seasons of “A French Village” on Amazon Prime. Fantastic.
18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?
Chicken and rice in all cuisines—except for hot spicy.
19--What do you do when you have free time?
Dance jazz, spend time with family and female friends, play Mah-Jongg, travel internationally—and of course, read. I alternate between reading digitally in bed and listening to the audio version of the same book while driving.
20--What can readers expect from you next?
First, an extensive book tour—appearances in-person and via Zoom as far as Canada and Australia. I love to connect with my readers and share with them the historical context or social /moral issues behind the book. In addition, I’ve started writing my novel #7, but it’s too early to talk about it. As happened with each of my previous novels, the subject has grabbed me out of nowhere, and has been slithering its tentacles into my brain until I have no choice but to explore it in writing. Stay tuned.
From acclaimed author of The Third Daughter comes an epic historical novel of ingenuity and courage, of love and loss, spanning postwar France when Israeli agents roamed the countryside to rescue hidden Jewish orphans—to the 1969 daring escape of the Israeli boats of Cherbourg.
1942: As the Vichy government hunts for Jews across France, Claudette Pelletier, a young and talented seamstress and lover of romance novels, falls in love with a Jewish man who seeks shelter at the château where she works. Their whirlwind and desperate romance before he must flee leaves her pregnant and terrified.
When the Nazis invade the Free Zone shortly after the birth of her child, the disabled Claudette is forced to make a heartbreaking choice and escapes to Spain, leaving her baby in the care of his nursemaid. By the time Claudette is able to return years later, her son has disappeared. Unbeknown to his anguished mother, the boy has been rescued by a Youth Aliyah agent searching for Jewish orphans.
1968: When Israeli naval officer Daniel Yarden recruits Sharon Bloomenthal for a secret naval operation in Cherbourg, France, he can’t imagine that he is the target of the agenda of the twenty-year-old grieving the recent loss of her fiancé in a drowned submarine. Sharon suspects that Danny's past in Youth Aliyah may reflect that of her mysterious late mother and she sets out to track her boss’s extraordinary journey as an orphan in a quaint French village all the way to Israel.
As Danny focuses on the future of his people and on executing a daring, crucial operation under France’s radar, he is unaware that the obsessed Sharon follows the breadcrumbs of clues across the country to find her answers. But she is wholly unprepared for the dilemma she must face upon solving the puzzle.
Historical [William Morrow Paperbacks, On Sale: January 30, 2024, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780063325777 / eISBN: 9780063325784]
Talia Carner is formerly the publisher of Savvy Woman magazine and a lecturer at international women’s economic forums. An award-winning author of four novels and numerous stories, essays, and articles, she is also a committed supporter of global human rights. Carner has spearheaded ground-breaking projects centered on female plight and women’s activism.
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