Interview with Geraldine Birch

What's the story behind your latest book?
One day I was doing research at the main Phoenix library in downtown and came across several newspaper articles about a prisoner of war camp located in east Phoenix (now Tempe). It housed about 1,700 German U-boat sailors and officers. I had never heard that America had German prisoners of war, but after further investigation, I found there had been about 500 camps set up in different locations in America. The men in the camps replaced Americans who were serving in the military. They picked cotton, cleaned irrigation ditches, picked fruit, worked in factories and even harvested lumber. I was so intrigued, that I began doing more research and even visited the area that was the camp, which is now an Arizona National Guard base. There is a small museum on the base that tells about Camp Papago Park.
When did you first start writing?
I began writing when I was ten years old. I didn't have friends that lived in the neighborhood, so I began typing on my mother's old Remington typewriter that sat in the small nook of my grandmother's house in Los Angeles. My first story--a really crappy romance about an Indian maiden who falls in love with a young buck from another tribe--is still alive, nestled in a box in the garage.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I believe it's my ability to become totally absorbed in the world that I am writing about. Writing for me is about living in the moment--currently called mindfulness. I think about nothing other than what I am trying to write. I love it!
What do your fans mean to you?
I am in awe that they are interested in my writing. I consider writing a privilege, one that I need to respect. My fans keep me going with their interest in my work.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on a memoir about my mother's family who were in Vaudeville during the 1920s and 1930s. Reading my mom's diaries, I realize what a hard life it was! Show business isn't all it's cracked up to be, believe me!
Who are your favorite authors?
Aside from Tolstoy (it took me a year to get through "War and Peace"), I really love Ann Patchett, Ivan Doig, Hemingway, Agatha Christie, and Nelson DeMille. I thoroughly enjoy mysteries (Chandler is a kick) and long epics. Hemingway just because he can cut to the bone of a story--no extraneous stuff for him.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
To write more! Oh, yes!!!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love to garden, to travel, to visit with my children and grandchild.
What is your writing process?
I have an idea in my head and then I begin to write while I do research to enhance the story. I make lots of notes, but usually at the bottom of a manuscript so that as I move down the page, I remember what I wanted to include. I rewrite constantly. I never have a first draft, but a continuous draft that gets changed repeatedly.
What do you read for pleasure?
I sometimes wish that I had become a history professor instead of a journalist. National Geographic's "History" magazine is what I sit down with, have a cup of coffee and just relax. I love the beautiful graphics and the wonderful stories about topics I would never dream of exploring--for instance, the story of the men who built the skyscrapers in New York during the 1930s to 1950s. Just looking at them standing on I-beams hundred of feet in the air gives me the shivers.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I love my Kindle! I take it everywhere--on vacations, sitting in the garden, waiting for a doctor or dentist. I can slip it in my purse and know that if I am bored, I can pull it out and read the latest news or a new ebook.
Published 2018-07-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Sedona: City of Refugees
Pre-release—available September 3, 2019. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 61,530. Language: English. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Romance » General
Sedona: City of Refugees is a biting look at a modern-day American tourist community caught between conflicting political and spiritual factions. The main character, a middle-aged newspaper reporter who writes profiles of Sedona's odd characters, seeks solace in an illicit love affair while her life crumbles around her.
Vision of a Happy Life: A Memoir
Pre-release—available June 3, 2019. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 113,410. Language: English. Categories: Nonfiction » Relationships & Family, Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
As John and I stood on the edge of the Pacific Ocean that day in 1980, I envisioned a happy life with a wealthy man where I could be home with my two young sons. But I found myself among a deceptive family filled with the pretense of a founding dynasty. My life was no different than the soap opera Dallas. If one’s life can be a duplication of a decade, then I was the perfect example.
The Swastika Tattoo
Price: Free! Words: 98,960. Language: English. Published: June 29, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Historical » USA, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Rudolf Meier is a young German POW whose love for Nazi Germany is as visible as the swastika tattoo on his forearm. Captured by the Americans, he is sent to a camp near Phoenix, Arizona where he comes face-to-face with the prejudice and bigotry he learned as a Hitler Youth.