17 November 2022

Daughters of Teutobod by Kurt Hansen Blog Tour! @Bookgal @therealbookgal

Daughters of Teutobod is a story of love triumphing over hate, of persistence in the face of domination, and of the strength of women in the face of adversity.

Gudrun is the stolen wife of Teutobod, the leader of the Teutons in Gaul in 102 BCE. Her story culminates in a historic battle with the Roman army.

Susanna is a German American farm wife in Pennsylvania whose husband, Karl, has strong affinity for the Nazi party in Germany. Susanna’s story revolves around raising her three daughters and one son as World War II unfolds.

Finally, Gretel is the infant child of Susanna, now seventy-nine years old and a professor of women’s studies, a US senator and Nobel laureate for her World Women’s Initiative. She is heading to France to represent the United States at the seventy-fifth anniversary of the liberation of southern France, at the commemoration site where her older brother, who was killed in action nearby, is buried. The site is very near the location where the Romans defeated the Teutons.

Guest Post

You never know where researching a book might take you! While researching the WWII portion of Daughters of Teutobod, I learned about the earliest training of the Army Rangers. After gathering at Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland, the group headed off to the highlands of Scotland for intensive combat training, after which they returned to Carrickfergus to await deployment. A fascinating sidenote for me related to the treatment of Black soldiers, many of whom related how wonderfully they were treated by the Irish people. They were welcomed into homes and pubs and treated as equals among their lighter-skinned compatriots. When some of the White soldiers complained to their commanding officers, the officers addressed the "morale" problem by attempting to force local business owners to impose race restrictions on the soldiers they served. The locals would have none of it! They all stood up to the American officers and reminded them they were guests in Ireland, and that they (pub and restaurant owners, mostly) would not be told whom they could serve in their own country! 

For me, the experience of the Black soldiers intersects with the experiences of women in history. Being called to serve (for women, in roles such as mother, wife, nurse, schoolteacher, etc., and for Blacks in roles of servant or even soldier) has come with a tacit exclusion from full participation in the world of those they served. The message has been, “be a good little (fill in the blank), but don’t bother the men. You don’t really belong here.”

Kurt Hansen is from Racine, Wisconsin, and has lived in Kansas, Texas, and Iowa. He has experience in mental health and family systems as well as in parish ministry and administration. He holds degrees in psychology, social work and divinity. Kurt now lives in Dubuque, Iowa with his wife of 44 years, Dr. Susan Hansen, a professor emerita of international business. Kurt is the author of Gathered (2019). Daughters of Teutobod is his second novel.

Website: https://www.authorkurthansen.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/revkurthansen

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3LqVS8A

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/62795806-daughters-of-teutobod

Get to know Kurt!

On writing:

How did you do research for your book?

Online searches for everything about the Teutons to pre-war Pennsylvania and the earliest training of American Rangers, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and modern-day sites in Paris and Southern France.

Which was the hardest character to write? The easiest?

Hardest? Ada.

Easiest? Gretel.

Where do you get inspiration for your stories?

From reading, from people, and from the news.

What advice would you give budding writers? 

Read widely. Attend a well-established writer's conference. 

Do you have another profession besides writing?

Retired pastor.

How long have you been writing?

After heart disease forced early retirement, I began attending the Iowa Summer Writer's Festival in 2014. I began writing poetry, but soon began writing novels.

What is your next project?

A book entitled Chameleon, about a man in treatment for borderline personality disorder. 

What genre do you write and why?

I write character driven stories and historical fiction because those are what interest me.

What is the last great book you’ve read?

Chances Are by Richard Russo 

What is a favorite compliment you have received on your writing?

A reader wrote that my book connected with her on an emotional level, bringing her to tears at times.


If your book were made into a movie, who would star in the leading roles?

The only one I’ve had an instant intuition for is the elder Gretel, who would surely be portrayed nicely by Meryl Streep.

If your book were made into a movie, what songs would be on the soundtrack?

Not sure, but during closing credits, I could suggest Respect by Aretha Franklin.

What were the biggest rewards and challenges with writing your book?

Greatest reward is the coming together of the various story elements. Greatest challenge is slogging through the research and persisting through the dialogues.

In one sentence, what was the road to publishing like?

It was painful and frustrating.

What is one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring author?

Be open to criticism. Write about what you know. 

Which authors inspired you to write?

Philip Roth, Harper Lee, Richard Russo, Flannery O'Connor, Charles Dickens, Michael Crighton, Dan Brown, Kurt Vonnegut, Amy Hassinger 

On rituals:

Where do you write?

Either in my office at home or in a coffee shop.

Do you write every day?

No. But I’ve heard many authors say that I should.

What is your writing schedule?

It tends to be manicky. I may go weeks without writing anything, and then a sudden spurt of energy possesses me, and I write furiously for days.

In today’s tech savvy world, most writers use a computer or laptop. Have you ever written parts of your book on paper?

Only notes.

Fun stuff:

Favorite travel spot?

Toledo, Spain.

Favorite dessert?

Sour cream raisin pie

If you were stuck on a deserted island, which 3 books would you want with you? 

To Kill a Mockingbird, A Tale of Two Cities, and the Bible.

Any hobbies? or name a quirky thing you like to do.

I collect rock-n-roll memorabilia. Signed record albums and photos and so forth. 

If there is one thing you want readers to remember about you, what would it be?

That I care about relationships and helping people.

What TV series are you currently binge watching?

Silent Witness and Cheers

What is your theme song?

“You've Got a Friend” by James Taylor

What is your go-to breakfast item?

Low-carb wraps

Tell us about your longest friendship.

I’ve been going on an annual retreat with six colleagues for over thirty years.

Giveaway!

Please leave a comment!

Giveaway will be for signed print copy of the book and a bookmark!







 


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