Friday, August 28, 2015

Character Interview: Louisa Unger from Jennifer Ott's 'Time of Useful Consciousness'

We’re thrilled to have here today Louisa Unger from Jennifer Ott’s historical fiction, Time of Useful Consciousness.  She is coming to us all the way Stuttgart, Germany.  It is a pleasure to have her with us today at The Literary Nook!

Thank you so for this interview, Louisa.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

Louisa: I would have never thought my story would be told, or if anyone would want to hear it. I was just a poor German girl living in allied occupied Stuttgart. My story is something even I have a hard time believing and it happened to me. I believe I was portrayed fairly, maybe a little too favorably at times. My actions were at times questionable as well as my love.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

Louisa: I believe my two strongest traits are endurance and love. I endured Nazi Germany, the air raids and even endured losing those I loved the most, but ironically it was my love that kept me going. I never gave up on myself and the people in my life.

Worst trait?

Louisa: Gullible. Yes, gullible. I put blinders on and didn’t see the dangers. I didn’t want to see it.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Louisa: Yes. His name is Kris and he is handsome former reconnaissance pilot. He taught me to soar in many ways I never dreamed possible.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

Louisa: When we flew on mission to Amsterdam. Kris started acting nervous believing we were being followed and my brother Freddy was as uncontrollable as ever. I felt at that point something bad was going to happen.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

Louisa: I wouldn’t want to be my mother. For years I criticized her for believing she was uncaring and distant…and all her affairs. I didn’t realize until later how hard it was to be a single mother raising two children during a war. I didn’t realize how much she loved our father, and how much of herself she sacrificed for our protection.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

Louisa: Love will always set you free.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if she decided to write another book with you in it?

Louisa: She could chill on the family drama. I’ve had enough.

Thank you for this interview.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

Louisa: Thank you. Maybe, maybe not. ; )

About the Author

Jennifer Ott is a prolific author who published numerous titles in various genres from literary fiction, women’s fiction, satire, dystopian fantasy, romance, crime drama and two satirical nonfiction titles. She will soon release her women’s fiction/historical fiction novel, "Time of Useful Consciousness."  

Under the pen name Mahima Martel, her romance novel, “Saying Goodbye,” received honorable mention at last year’s Best Beach Book Contest and her literary fiction novella, “Edge of Civilization” has been highly recommended by the Vietnam Veterans Association of America.  

She has been named head online course writer for the “The Friendly Universe.”  Her radio show, The SuperJenius Show on the Artist First Radio Network can be heard first Thursday of every month at 11:00PM EST.
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About the Book:

Louisa Unger, a young German woman in Post-War World II Germany kills a man in cold blood. In her mind, freedom and preservation cause her to pull the trigger.

Arrested by the American Allied forces and confined to a military prison, she greets the man investigating her crime, Colonel Taylor with biting sarcasm and scorn. Despite her offense, her fate is up to her - give up her countrymen for her freedom. She decides to play the loyalty card and remain in prison.

Among her conversations with Colonel Taylor, Louisa weaves her tale of the events by evading any real information. While imprisoned, she relives her experience of reuniting with her estranged brother Freddy, falling in love with Kris, a former reconnaissance pilot and learning to fly to a plane. She recounts in fairy tale fashion of monsters cloaked in shadows and lessons learned by incorrigible children, which does nothing but frustrate Colonel Taylor, who has no clue as to why she would protect evil men.

Seduced into the bliss of romance and flying, Louisa fails to recognize any threat. She grows immersed in the life of a smuggler, a pilot and a lover, something she would have never anticipated while hiding during air raids. It is hard to come back down to earth, when soaring so high.

After Louisa recounts the whole story to Colonel Taylor, there are still puzzle pieces missing. Still she relays no names and gives up no one. While Colonel Taylor sifts through all the information, one piece of evidence bears light, and it is something he never expects. Louisa holds onto heartache. Once Colonel Taylor reunites her with her lost love, is he able to get her to divulge secrets...most of them.

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Book Excerpt:

Rage erupted through her entire body, yet she was stoically calm. She had held it in so long believing someday they would be free againfree from the chaos and the violence, the global scrutiny and the burden handed to them from their parents. She wanted it all to end and deep inside, she knew the only way to make it to end would take just one more act of violence; one shot and it would be over. Taking a life would be so liberating no matter how long she would be hunted or incarcerated.
He laughed and asked in his usual pompousness, “See können nicht es tun. Sie ist Ihre Familie, aber verschieden schwach. Sie haben Verstand, ist nicht dieses Recht, Louisa?”
The Luger weighed heavily in her hand and her arm began to shake. Her face wrinkled and she choked on a few tears. “Ich bin klug.” She pulled the trigger and shot.
A small wisp of smoke plumed from the barrel and the bullet ripped through empty space as if in slow motion, yet he didn’t have time to react. His eyes widened and his mouth gaped. What he thought was impossible, happened. He was on the brink of being killed as he had done to so many innocents. The bullet pierced his pressed white shirt and red oozed spreading into a bloody stain.
The impact didn’t knock him over at first…maybe it was his disbelief that someone—especially a young woman—would get the best of him, or maybe he believed he was too powerful to die. Soon life escaped him, and he slumped quietly to the floor.
She lowered the gun and breathed in deeply, releasing a satisfying sigh. It was over—the ordeal she had never anticipated—yet after flying so high and fast, what could she expect? She was bound to come down sooner or later and like the rest of her family, she came crashing down hard.
Slouching to the floor, she set the gun beside her and traced her finger along the hardwood floor. She took a moment to smell the room’s organic, musty scent. A silent breeze from the pine outside the window lofted over her bringing calmness with it. The thumping of helicopter propellers outside proved her ordeal was not yet over.
She barely felt strong hands ring around her upper arms and pull her upright. “Are you okay, miss?” he asked in a Southern American drawl.
She hated that particular American accent, but the worst was the North Eastern accents of New York and Boston. She became quite an expert on American accents during the occupation. Many times she wished they were occupied by the British; at least they would be dominated by polite, proper voices.
The American soldier shook her gently. “Are you alright?” he asked again.
She nodded, shrugging away from his grasp. She was ready for her punishment, whatever it would be.
The soldier escorted her across the hilltop, which overlooked a clear lake and meadow of white edelweiss. Such beautiful scenery for such evil men. Why were the evildoers blessed with such beauty and the good masses succumbed to the gray darkness of the city? she thought as the soldier pushed her into the backseat of a helicopter.
As the helicopter lifted, she watched the mirrored reflection on the lake. So much power everyone thought they had—the Germans, the Americans—yet nobody knew anything. Everyone was ignorant. Flying over this land as she has done for the past year it became obvious how easy it was to lose awareness. It was so easy to get lost when she had been escaping reality daily.
Surrounded by American soldiers, she settled into her seat not knowing where they were taking her. It didn’t matter. Her life had ended several years ago and she remembered exactly the first day of the end.


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