Naomi Stephan

Biography

Author, educator and composer Naomi Stephan was born in Bloomington, Indiana, where she grew up in a parsonage with her clergyman father and musician mother. Naomi earned a PhD in German and Music from Indiana University and second BA in Voice as a Fulbright scholar in Berlin. During her studies there, she performed as a soloist in sacred and secular venues. She frequently traveled from West to East Berlin and other GDR cities for cultural events and to research the lives of her ancestors.
Naomi has held teaching postionss at Luther College, Valparaiso University, and UNCA Ashville, where she focused on German culture and music history. In her professional activities, Naomi co-founded Women in German (WIG), an organization dedicated to the advancement of Germanists worldwide. Naomi is also a member of the International Association of Women in Music (IAWM) and the American Society of Composers and Poets (ASCAP).
After leaving academia, Naomi launched Life Mission Associates, a consulting firm in California that specializes in helping people find a purposeful life, with her partner, psychotherapist Sue Carroll Moore. To provide self-help materials for clients and the public, she authored Finding Your Life Mission and Fulfill Your Soul’s Purpose, and co-authored a workbook of the same name.
Holder of grants, scholarships, commissions and awards, Naomi has also authored books and articles on German feminism, women in choral music and medieval mystic and composer Hildegard of Bingen. She organized and directed four women’s choruses and one mixed chorus in California, North Carolina and Germany, using her own as well as other women's compositions and lyrics as the central focus.
Her first novel, Duplicity’s Daughter, expands Naomi’s literary and creative efforts by drawing on her interest in the German novella, lyrics, romantic poetry and Lieder, her experiences in Cold War Berlin and lesbian liaisons.
Currently, she resides north of Berlin, Germany in a rural village near the Polish border. She continues to craft words and music, and is working on a new work involving her family history.

Smashwords Interview

Q What led you to the title?
Duplicity's Daughter came to me spontaneously, and I never waivered from it. There are duplicitous relationships, governments, and actions. We all hold secrets and keep things from others or ourselves. We “cheat” on our partners, make up stories, hide behind masks, sometimes deliberately, by circumstance or to save our skin.
How would you describe your novel?
Although historical, my themes are quite contemporary: the coming of age of an outsider searching for herself in a dangerous time. In Cold War Berlin, Renate discovers a dark past involving her father in the Third Reich. Now vulnerable, she descends into an underground world and agrees to help an East German on a dangerous mission. As she plunges into a bi-national relationship with Christine, a West Berliner, a subtler dark present, the lesbian life, tears Renate in two, resulting in unconscious if not overt cruelty.
In a divided Berlin, Renate becomes a metaphor of a woman not yet fully out – thus duplicitous to self – and others. She soon realizes these secrets will be difficult to sustain, forcing her to confront who she really is. The reader can judge her path.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Naomi Stephan online


Where to buy in print


Books

Duplicity's Daughter
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 120,160. Language: English. Published: January 14, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Coming of age, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
For fast track professor Renate Seiler, a grant to Berlin was not the fait accompli she expected. When she discovers letters among her mother’s effects that point to her father’s Nazi past, Renate decides to investigate. But attraction to a charismatic chanteuse in West Berlin, and a charming East German scientist captivate her. At each turn of the road, Renate’s path becomes more perilous.

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