Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Rebecca Cantrell

Kelli Stanley interviewed Rebecca Cantrell about her new novel, A Night of Long Knives.

Part of their Q & A:

A NIGHT OF LONG KNIVES takes place a few years after your award-winning debut novel (and first of the Hannah Vogel series), A TRACE OF SMOKE, and, like all the Hannah Vogel series, deals with the tragic and very real history of Nazi Germany. Tell us a little about this background - what was the "Night of Long Knives"?

The Night of the Long Knives was a Nazi purge that took place in 1934. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, they immediately destroyed all other political parties, removed all state governments, wiped out labor unions, drove Jews out of public and professional life, stifled the courts, and put political, economic, cultural, and social life under their control. But Hitler still did not have the full backing of the Army. The German army, because of the Treaty of Versailles, was limited to one hundred thousand men. The Storm Troopers, under Hitler's close friend Ernst Röhm, had four million. When Röhm suggested moving the army under his control, the generals were worried. They made a deal with Hitler: if he would kill his best friend and the top ranks of the Storm Troopers, they would back him. At the same time, Himmler created a fake dossier accusing Röhm of plotting to take over the government. In response, Hitler started the purge known as "The Night of the Long Knives" killing Ernst Röhm, the upper echelon of the Storm Troopers, and a long list of other personal and political enemies. The true body count has never been determined, but at the Nuremberg trials after the war estimates ranged up to one thousand.

So how far into the future do you see Hannah venturing? How many more books? And since you're skipping years between novels, will there be prequels?

I can see Hannah books at least into the 1950s. I currently envision nine books: a trilogy before the war, during the war, and after. I've written the pre-war books: 1931's A TRACE OF SMOKE; 1934's A NIGHT OF LONG KNIVES coming out in late June 2010; and 1936's A GAME OF LIES due out in June 2011.
Read the complete interview.

Learn more about the book and author at Rebecca Cantrell's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: A Trace of Smoke.

--Marshal Zeringue