It’s my great pleasure to welcome my lovely friend, Olga Swan, to my blog today to share her writing journey. Congratulations on the publication of your new novel, Olga! I’m looking forward to finding out more about the new release on Thursday, when you join me for Thursday Themes…
Why I write
I grew up in the 1950s in a Jewish family traumatised by what happened during the war. As the third child, and the only girl in the family, for a long time I was very introverted. My only release was reading and, later, putting pen to paper myself. I was always affected by the unfairnesses in life, and eventually this feeling transmuted into my books.
When I wrote my wartime trilogy (Lamplight, Vichyssoise and The Mazurek Express) about a Birmingham Jewish reporter sent to Germany, Vichy France and then to Warsaw, I felt the need to highlight all the suffering meted out to innocent civilians by the Nazis.
Along the way, my writing also encompassed my inherited (Ashkenazi) love of dry humour, evidenced by my successful non-fiction books Pensioners in Paradis and An Englishwoman in America.
But still I retained the gnawing need to do more. For 70+ years I had waited and waited for someone to redress the balance in favour of the Jewish people. Daily I kept reading in social media and in the news about increasing signs of antisemitism around the world. But no-one seemed to be doing much about it. So I decided to do it myself!
Yesterday I launched my new novel The Meleke Stone. You can read more about it on Jo’s Thursday Themes feature later this week.
Buy link: mybook.to/meleke.
About the book:
A meleke stone from the ancient plains of the Dead Sea is passed down by generations of females through four thousand years.
In 2019 Sami, the son of Egyptian immigrants in Toulouse, is traumatised by the family’s hardships in France and plots revenge. Menes, Sami’s father from Cairo, had emigrated to France in search of peace. An unlikely friendship forms with Holocaust-survivor Moshe, each recognising their past struggles.
Suddenly, a terrorist bomb explodes in a Toulouse synagogue. Moshe asks his son, Simon, to produce a film showing the true history of his people from the time of Sodom and Gomorrah. What will happen to Moshe’s and Menes’ special relationship when an intrepid French detective’s efforts to find the terrorist reveal the horrifying truth? In a soul-searching conclusion in Jerusalem, having no female descendant to whom to give the meleke stone, there’s only one thing that Simon can do to maintain the survival of his people for all eternity.
…..are you ready for the four thousand year journey of the meleke stone?”
Follow the story as it moves between Toulouse, Warsaw, Cairo and through to Jerusalem. Read the historical truths about Sodom and Gomorrah, the Maccabees and what happened during the Six-Day War in the Sinai. But above all, recognise the lifelong friendship between a Jewish man and an Egyptian Muslim. Enjoy!
About the Author:
Olga has a B.A. Hons. (Open) in English language and literature. For many years she worked at The University of Birmingham, following which she spent twelve years living in S.W. France before returning to Birmingham in 2017. She has had 7 books (3 NF) published by indie publisher Crooked Cat Books, which has now closed. Three of Olga’s works are narrative non-fiction, one of which (Pensioners in Paradis) is approaching one million pages read and is already a four-times international best-seller. A 2nd edition of this and of An Englishwoman in America have now been reprinted. Three novels form a series set in wartime Germany, France and Poland. Dunoon Assassin moves between NY, Dunoon and Amritsar.
Blog: olgaswan.blogspot.com. Written every Sunday for 13 years with hundreds of regular readers each week from around the world.
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B013IBD4PU/ref=nodl_
1 thought on “Why I Write – Olga Swan”
Olga, what a wonderful theme. I really admire you going for it now. I wish you a ton of success and acclaim. There is never a right time. Thanks for this, really moving reading about your family experiences. xx