So I was pleased when given the opportunity to have a brief interview with the author of The Ambassador’s Daughter, Pam Jenoff. Her latest novel is set in Paris, 1919. I’ve always been fascinated by WWII but have wanted to learn more about what led up to the actual start of the war so soon after WWI. In The Ambassador’s Daughter, the world’s leaders have gathered to rebuild from the ashes of the Great War. But for one woman, the city of Light harbors dark secrets and dangerous liaisons, for which many could pay dearly.
What was your favorite subject at school and why?
History and international affairs. My imagination has always been triggered by far away lands.
Who has been the biggest influence on your work?
When I first became serious about writing, I took a class with a writing instructor named Janet Benton and I participated in her workshop for several years. She, along with my wonderful agent Scott Hoffman and gifted editor, Susan Swinwood, have had a significant impact on my work.
What one thing would you like to learn how to do?
Have a beautiful home. I have no flair for decorating and no time to clean, but I would enjoy the aesthetics.
Do you get writer’s block? If you do, how do you conquer it?
I’m not sure I believe in writers block. There are times where my energy or inspiration is low, but to me this is a job so I still put my butt in the chair and write something. It’s all about finding what inspires you – fear or desire or whatever – and harnessing that.
What’s the most important thing you have learned from your characters?
My characters have given me a deep appreciation for the gray areas in people – that no one is as good or bad as they’re made out to be. It’s a lesson I learned from my years living in Europe working on issues related to the war and I try to develop it in all of my books.
About the Author
Pam Jenoff was born in Maryland and raised outside Philadelphia. She attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Cambridge University in England. Upon receiving her master’s in history from Cambridge, she accepted an appointment as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. The position provided a unique opportunity to witness and participate in operations at the most senior levels of government, including helping the families of the Pan Am Flight 103 victims secure their memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, observing recovery efforts at the site of the Oklahoma City bombing and attending ceremonies to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of World War II at sites such as Bastogne and Corregidor.
Following her work at the Pentagon, Pam moved to the State Department. In 1996 she was assigned to the U.S. Consulate in Krakow, Poland. It was during this period that Pam developed her expertise in Polish-Jewish relations and the Holocaust. Working on matters such as preservation of Auschwitz and the restitution of Jewish property in Poland, Pam developed close relations with the surviving Jewish community.
Pam left the Foreign Service in 1998 to attend law school and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. She worked for several years as a labor and employment attorney both at a firm and in-house in Philadelphia and now teaches law school at Rutgers.
Pam is the author of The Kommandant’s Girl, which was an international bestseller and nominated for a Quill award, as well as The Diplomat’s Wife, Almost Home, A Hidden Affair and The Things We Cherished. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and three children.To learn more about the author please visit her site. Connect on Facebook
It is with many many thanks that I have one copy available to giveaway from Meryl Moss Media Relations, Inc. To enter, please leave a comment. With this fancy WordPress plugin I have, a random entry will be chosen on February 10th. Entries will be accepted through 11:59 pm EST on February 9th, 2013. Please only U.S. and Canadian residents. Best of luck!
Brought to the peace conference by her father, a German diplomat, Margot Rosenthal initially resents being trapped in the congested French capital, where she is still looked upon as the enemy. But as she contemplates returning to Berlin and a life with Stefan, the wounded fiancé she hardly knows anymore, she decides that being in Paris is not so bad after all.
Bored and torn between duty and the desire to be free, Margot strikes up unlikely alliances: with Krysia, an accomplished musician with radical acquaintances and a secret to protect; and with Georg, the handsome, damaged naval officer who gives Margot a job—and also a reason to question everything she thought she knew about where her true loyalties should lie.
Against the backdrop of one of the most significant events of the century, a delicate web of lies obscures the line between the casualties of war and of the heart, making trust a luxury that no one can afford.