Our interview for this month is Kim Ablon Whitney, author of The Other Half of Life. She lives in New England not far from Jennifer but shares a passion for World War II with me, so she fits right in on our little blog!
1. World War II was the scariest time period in living memory, yet so many people, myself included, feel a strong connection to it. Could you try to tell me what it is about this era that draws you in?
I have a personal connection to the era in that my mother was born in Austria in 1941 but otherwise I think times of incredible hardship always captivate me. I wonder, what would I have done in such a situation? How did people make the decisions they did and how did they face such trauma?
2. What was it that led you to tell this particular story?
I was actually doing research for another story about the WWII time period when I came across the story of the St. Louis. I was immediately fascinated by this heart-wrenching story and also shocked that I had never heard of it before. I thought the questions it raised about immigration policy are still incredibly relevant today and that for many reasons it would make a good topic for a young adult book.
3. What challenges did you face while researching for this book?