Book interview - An Enemy Like Me by Teri M. Brown
Please tell us a little about the book
An Enemy Like Me is a World War II historical fiction. It follows a first-generation German American as he struggles with his national identity during a war that pits his heritage against his home. The novel looks at war, what it takes to be an enemy, and how the experience changes those involved from the viewpoints of the soldier, his wife, and his four-year-old son left behind, as well as from the son’s point of view as an adult looking back.
Feathered Quill has said: Teri M. Brown’s latest novel, An Enemy Like Me, is a beautifully layered book that delves into the complexities of war and the effects it has on those who have an intense love of country, family, and one’s heritage.
Independent Book Review has said: While it is set during World War II, Brown makes it clear that this is not only a story of war, but of love and what we will do for it.
BookLife Reviews has said: The pro-Nazi Volksbund movement, its anti-German backlash, and the anxiety it induced in German Americans is seldom addressed in popular literature—and Brown’s depiction of a unique angst within a much-chronicled American era sets this novel apart.
Where did the inspiration come from for your book?
With a maiden name of Bufmeyer and having spent many growing up years in the Germanic areas of Ohio, I always knew of our family’s German heritage. My grandfather fought in World War II in Germany. Despite our family having lived in the United States for almost two centuries, fighting in Germany haunted my grandfather. He rarely spoke about the war, but one time, when I was a teenager, he said, “I always wondered if the person on the other side of the gun was a cousin.” That thought stuck with me and became the basis for An Enemy Like Me.
How did you find the experience of writing this book?
I’m always surprised at the writing process and how the storyline evolves as the characters whisper their stories to me. Other than the idea given to me by my grandfather years ago, I had no idea where the story would go or how it would end. When the storyline brought me to tears on several occasions, I knew I had created a publishable book.
Did you draw any inspiration from any real life people with any of your characters?
I always draw my characters from people I know, but in this case, the characters were very close to be. Jacob, the soldier, is patterned after my grandfather. His wife, Bonnie, is my grandmother. And, of course, their son, is my father. Although I took a lot of liberties – with character traits and family stories – anyone who knew them would likely recognize them.
If you could say anything to readers of this book then what would it be?
In war, soldiers have to define the enemy and be willing to do what it takes to eliminate that enemy – otherwise, they will not be the one going home. However, in our day-to-day life, there is no need for enemies. Rather than looking for the things that separate us – skin color, religious beliefs, political affiliations, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, nationality – look for what makes us the same.
When my husband, Bruce, and I rode across the United States on a tandem bicycle in 2020 (3102 miles to raise money for Toys for Tots), we met people from all walks of life. What we found amazing was that whenever we chatted with people, we found things that united us. It could be having children or having visited the NC Coast or having been in the military or having their own adventure. Once we found that connection, none of the things that could separate us mattered. I believe that in order to get rid of the “isms” and “phobias” that separate us, we need to focus on what makes us human.
Are there plans for more from these characters, or is it a stand alone piece?
I do not have plans for this to be a series. However, I never say never!
Where can we purchase your book?
You can purchase the book on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Enemy-Like-Me-Teri-Brown/dp/1639885455), Barnes & Noble (https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/an-enemy-like-me-teri-m-brown/1142018249), and wherever books are sold. You can also purchase the book from my website at www.terimbrown.com.
Please tell us where readers can connect with you and find out about any new book releases too.
The easiest way to connect with me is through my website at www.terimbrown.com. In addition to joining my newsletter, where you will get the list of “The 10 Historical Fiction Novels You’ve Never Heard of That Will Bring You to Tears,” you can reach out to me through my contact form and find links to all my social media.
For those who prefer going directly to social media, you can find me here:
Amazon Author: https://www.amazon.com/author/terimbrown
Thank you so much for featuring An Enemy Like Me during the Launch Tour!ReplyDelete