November 30, 2007

Running around Belgium with Douglas W. Jacobson

We arrived in Belgium yesterday and in between grandparent stuff a lot is happening for NIGHT OF FLAMES. On Friday I'm meeting with Cobb Rogers of The American Club of Brussels to plan a presentation & book signing for February. Later that day, I'll be meeting with the US Embassy in Brussels who are interested in the WW2 Belgian Resistance groups I wrote about in the book. They're planning an exhibition in February/March on US-Belgian relations. Monday is the meeting with Comete Kinship Belgium, the organization of WW2 heroine, Andree de Jongh and the Comet Line escape organization. unexpected adventure in Bastogne. I was contacted by an old friend who will be in Belgium next week along with several WW2 veterans of the 101st Airborne Division - Easy Company - that fought in the Battle of the Bulge. They'll be attending a festival commemorating the epic battle and the opening of a new museum in Bastogne. I'll be joining the group in Bastogne next week Friday.

Polish Heritage review of Night of Flames

Night of Flames received two recent reviews in Polish-American publications. POLISH HERITAGE, the quarterly newsletter of the American Council for Polish Culture, in their fall, 2007 edition said, "...the story is a great reminder of the courage and fortitude of those who lived through those times...a lesson in history with a love story - love of country and family". The AM-POL EAGLE, the weekly Polish-American newspaper in New York state, described the story in great detail (the reviewer being quite well informed about WW2 history) and concluded that the book was, "...released just in time for Christmas and all Polish-Americans should buy it and learn about our heroic and tragic past". I couldn't have said it better myself. -DWJ

Gerry Doyle's author reception at Lake Point Tower, Chicago

Dear Mayor Daley: Thanks for the fireworks

Yeah, that's right--not only did the KU football team celebrate the release of "From the Depths" with a victory over Oklahoma State, but Hizzoner (The Second) made sure there were some festive explosions down near the museum campus... in other words, in perfect view of Lake Point Tower.

The release party on Saturday was a lot of fun, full of good cheer and good books and good friends and good wine. Technically, the good friends were full of the good wine, not the party. But you know what I mean.

Here are some destined-for-the-cover-of-People shots from various Friends (and Relatives) of the Blog:

Well-behaved attendees, less than 15 bottles of wine in and before the first television was defenestrated.

James, Former College Roommate of the Blog. What you can't see is that I'm stomping on his foot as hard as I can.

I rest my signing hand as several friends try to explain to me why "have a great summer" doesn't make sense on the title page of a novel.

Kristen, Cousin of the Blog, makes sure I know how her name is spelled.

People dressed more stylishly than I was also had a great time.

Thanks so much to everyone who helped make this such a fun and wonderful night. And stay tuned for information about coming events featuring "From the Depths," and possibly its author.

Author Gerry Doyle's book reception at Scents and Sensibility

A touch of class for a submarine full of dead people

Friday's reading at Lincoln Square little-bit-of-everything boutique Scents and Sensibility went swimmingly. There weren't even too many complaints that Dr. Myers had a Johnny Cash-esque speaking voice. But hey, you give people enough wine and they'll applaud if you read the back of a cereal box.

Here are a couple of photos from the event, taken by Owner of the Boutique Julie:

Tastefully decorated book lovers browse the tastefully decorated store.

That's right, I'm sitting behind a fence.

Thanks to everyone who came by! Next stop: The Book Cellar, Dec. 19. Be there to pick up the bestest Christmas present ever!

November 21, 2007

Historical Novels Review of Tomorrow the World

From the Historical Novels Review's November '07 issue:

I’d heard raves about John Biggins’s novels set in the last fifty
years of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Now I understand why. If you enjoy an
author who writes with authority (like Michael Pearce, and with the same
depth of knowledge and dry wit), and who has the outsider’s eye for noticing
and observing, then Biggins is for you.
Tomorrow the World shows young Otto Prohaska becoming Cadet
Prohaska, in what is left of the Hapsburg Empire’s navy. The joy of the book
is that it is not a young man’s voice retelling his adventures, but Otto,
the old man, waiting to die in the strange Welsh retirement home for Polish
refugees, run by Polish nuns. He records his stories, with comments and
critical asides added by the older Otto’s hindsight and later analysis. The
result is often hilarious, always devastatingly acute. One despairs and
wonders, as he does, if humans will ever learn from past mistakes. As a
record of what happened to turn Germany into the bigot of white supremacy
that resulted in Auschwitz, it is horrifying.
The sailing details of S.M.S Windischgratz, the descriptions of
people and places, are so vivid you come to believe you are indeed reading
memoirs. I stand in awe, not only of Biggins’s research, but also his
ability to turn it into something so tangible. His skills as a writer are
one of the pleasures of this novel.
If Otto has a creed, it is “Lord, what fools these mortals be,” and
the novel gives us both comic and pathetic examples as a hapless Cadet Otto
sails on the weird and wonderful voyage from Pola (now Pula, Croatia)
ostensibly to the South Atlantic, but eventually to Africa, New Silesia and
across the Indian Ocean to Pola again. Enjoy it. It’s a book to cherish and
reread. -- Patrika Salmon

November 8, 2007

Night of Flames author Douglas W. Jacobson podcast interview

Night of Flames author Douglas W. Jacobson was interviewed at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay, WI by the Door County Daily News' Nick Freimuth, who produces an Arts and Entertainment podcast series.

Doug discusses researching for and writing Night of Flames, and provides fresh insight into key historical events that took place in Poland and Belgium during WWII.

Click here to listen to the podcast interview.

November 6, 2007

“From the Depths” launches!

BOOKSELLERS AND LIBRARIANS: Whether you sell books or let people check them out for free, send an e-mail request to receive your free review copy and more information about the book. "From the Depths" is sold to the book trade by Independent Publishers Group, and published by McBooks Press.

Whether you're a book club member, a bookseller, librarian or would just like to drop me a line, shoot me an e-mail and I'll get right back to you. Please note that plot points will not be given away under any circumstances. Unless those circumstances involve briefcases full of cash.

So run out and grab a copy so you can find out what happens to Dr. Myers and the Dragon. You’ve got the candy to fuel a long reading session left over from Halloween.

Just be ready for immersion in a little bit more fear... and not the kind that will go away when you close the front door.