A business owner, engineer, and World War II enthusiast, Douglas Jacobson has traveled extensively in Europe. Mr. Jacobson has spent an enormous amount of time researching stories which focus on the courage of common people who have been caught up in extraordinary circumstances.
Douglas Jacobson made his way to novel success with his debut, Night of Flames: A Novel of World War Two, published in 2007. In 2008, Night of Flames won the “2008 Outstanding Achievement Award” from the Wisconsin Library association, a wonderful accomplishment.
Other writing endeavors for Mr. Jacobson, include: a monthly column on Poland’s contribution during WW2, published articles on Belgium’s WW2 escape organization, the Comet Line and other European resistance organizations. Currently, Mr. Jacobson is promoting his second novel, titled The Katyn Order, which releases this month, and focuses on one of history’s most notorious war crimes, the Katyn massacre.
Readers can visit Douglas Jacobson’s website to find out more about him, as well as his work.
Please tell us a bit about your book, The Katyn Order, and what you hope readers take away from reading it.
The Katyn Order is a story of the courage of two ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events and their struggle for personal redemption.
What I hope people will take away from this story is how fragile freedom is, and the belief that you can never underestimate what you might be capable of doing if you had no other choice.
Here is a brief synopsis of The Katyn Order:
The German War Machine is in retreat as the Russians advance. In Warsaw, Resistance fighters rise up against their Nazi occupiers, but the Germans retaliate, ruthlessly leveling the city. American Adam Nowak has been dropped into Poland by British intelligence as an assassin and Resistance fighter. During the Warsaw Rising he meets Natalia, a covert operative who has lost everything — just as he has. Amid the Allied power struggle left by Germany’s defeat, Adam and Natalia join in a desperate hunt for the 1940 Soviet order authorizing the murders of 20,000 Polish army officers and civilians. If they can find the Katyn Order before the Russians do, they just might change the fate of Poland.
Who are your favorite characters in the story?
Adam and Natalia
Do you have a favorite line or excerpt from your book?
Yes, here is one of my favorite excerpts:
Then a massive concussion knocked him to the ground. Adam groped around to retrieve his glasses and scrambled to his feet. He fumbled to slip them back on then looked in horror through a cracked lens at the street below where a massive cloud of dust billowed up from a crater three meters across. The runners in the second half of the single-file line had disappeared.
Frozen with fear, Adam watched helplessly as the runners in the front half of the line stopped and looked back. There was instant commotion. Natalia waved her arms, frantically pointing back up the street at the smoking crater. Some of the others pushed her forward.
Natalia hesitated and continued to point at the crater.
Adam pounded on the window frame and shouted out loud, “Run! Goddamn it, Run!” No one heard him except the hospital patients in the next room.
But that’s exactly what she did.
And then she was gone.
If your current release were to be turned into a movie, who would you love to see play what characters and why?
Russell Crowe playing Adam and Jodie Foster playing Natalia. Both of these actors have extraordinary range of emotion and are perfect for action-oriented roles that require inner perspective.
What are your favorite aspects of writing?
I love the research, especially traveling to actual locations and interviewing people who are familiar with the historical aspects of my story. I also love creating the story-line and creating dialog.
Your least favorite aspects of writing?
Who are some of your favorite authors/books?
First and foremost, Herman Wouk’s Winds of War and War and Remembrance. Followed closely by all of Alan Furst’s books. In the non-fiction genre, I am a big fan of Stephen Ambrose.
What are you reading right now?
Beside a Burning Sea by John Shors
If you could have a dinner party and invite five authors — dead or alive — who would they be and what would you serve them?
I would serve them a great steak prepared on my grill, and the best bottle of Chateauneuf du pape I could find. Then I’d pry all of their secrets from them.
What is a book that you wish you could say that you had written and why?
War and Remembrance because it is an incredible love story while providing readers with the most gripping, epic account ever written of the twentieth century’s greatest calamity.
What is the greatest piece of advice (for writing and/or just living) that you have heard?
When you have an idea, “Just put your head down and go!”