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Interview with Douglas Jacobson, Author of The Katyn Order

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Douglas W. Jacobson is an avid World War Two history enthusiast, along with being an engineer and a business owner. His first novel, Night of Flames: A Novel of World War Two debuted in 2007 and won the “2007 Outstanding Achievement Award” from the Wisconsin Library association. Doug’s second historical novel, The Katyn Order, which was released on May, 2011, focuses on one of history’s most notorious war crimes, the Katyn massacre.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Getting started. When I have the central idea for the story firmly established I begin doing all the background research which usually leads me on various twisting paths as I discover new information. The hardest part is to stop researching and actually begin to write the story.

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I started writing seriously in 2001. It took six years to complete my first book, Night of Flames, and get it published. I finished The Katyn Order in three years and it was published in 2011.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published (if any)?

As I’m sure many authors would tell you, getting published is harder than writing the book. I have a whole box full of rejection letters. In retrospect, I think it all boils down to perseverance, not giving up and not taking the rejections personally. It also involves luck and timing – hitting that exact moment in time when an editor is in the right mood when he or she picks up your manuscript.

Have you written a book that you have not been able to get published?If so, can you share a little about it with us?

No, I have not.

How did you come up with the title?

One of the things I learned when my first book was published is that the author does not get to choose the title. Since they’re footing the bill, publisher’s reserve the right to select the title, the cover art, and the blurb that goes on the back cover. Although, I have to say that the folks at McBooks Press were very collaborative in all of these aspects.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

I would advise anyone who is interested in writing to first of all write about something that you are passionate about and know something about, either through personal experience or research. Don’t just “wing it” on the details or it will come back to haunt you.

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About Tracee Gleichner