Soren Paul Petrek A new adventure for Madeleine Toche, alone against the German Army!
Madeleine Toche races to the front only to find her brother mortally wounded during the German Blitzkrieg attack on France at the outset of World War II. His death and her rape at the hands of an SS Stormtrooper cast Madeleine down a path of death and violence when she joins the British Special Operation Executive. Killing the Gestapo is one thing, but when she’s sent after Field Marshall Erwin Rommel the entire German Army stands in her way. Discover a new thriller with Madeleine Toche, in war against the Germans to protect herself and her brother!
How I Research My Novels
by Soren Paul Petrek
Each novel is different, and the research requirements vary. For Cold Lonely Courage I started with the basics. I knew that my character would be in the French Resistance and ultimately the Special Operations Executive. I knew about the French Resistance from history classes and our friend Madeleine Behren who had been in the Belgian Resistance helping Jewish children escape the Nazis.
I learned about the SOE from reading a novel by Ken Follet. I was intrigued and began to look for books that told the true stories of the women in the Resistance and the SOE. I prefer first-hand accounts written by women who were in the Resistance and the SOE.
There is a wealth of information online both in the form of articles but also databases of interviews with people across the wide spectrum of society, soldiers, sailors, spies, politicians, leaders and the common folk in the street living under the bombs or caught between two armies.
I began to form a picture of the women who were given little credit for their indispensable work fighting the Nazis. Most novels about WWII focus on famous battles and male protagonists. When women are included it is usually in a subordinate role. I wanted to develop a character that borrowed qualities from all of the real-life women I studied. The dangers these common folk faced are incredible especially when people are called upon to act with little or no military training.
I continue to research as I write trying not to retell history but to use key events to frame the storyline. I love to do research as I discover a new plot twist or a historical figure that I can bring into the story.
I expect that some pure historians won’t like the liberties that I take with historical figures and events. I do not write non-fiction. My stories come from my imagination intertwined with the characters and fantastic events that happened during a pivotal time in our history.
Other books call from a mix of historical research and research done regarding places, people and things. When I wrote Angels Don’t Die, I knew little about Israel, important historical and political figures, it’s history and people.
My sister has friends who’ve lived in Israel. I asked them for various tips and descriptions of life there particularly during the time of the Yom Kippur War. I was fortunate that one of them had been there during that dangerous time.
I researched deserts, the Red Sea and many other subjects.
Research is a fountain of ideas for me.