Friday, November 1, 2019

Lucinda Heck and her book A GERMAN IN A FOREIGN LAND

I hope everyone had a safe Holloween. I finally got out of the emergency room only to find out that one of my best friend's wife was also in the emergency room. What a night. In my case, I have been sick with a nasty ear infection and sinus infection. The medicine they prescribed interacted with the Synthroid that I take for my thyroid and the side effects mimicked a heart attack. Needless to say, I got tricked and treated yesterday. I learned a valuable lesson -- never take a new medication without looking and investigating the interactions with your current medications. I won't be doing that again any time soon.

Now I want to introduce you to another author, Lucinda Heck and her book A GERMAN IN A FOREIGN LAND. If you like historical fiction, you'll love this one.



Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

I am a graduate of the University of Illinois, where I received a doctorate in vocal performance. I was a professional singer opera and oratorio with orchestras throughout the midwest. I also taught at the university level for 25 years of teaching voice and humanities. I also was on the National Board of the Lilly Foundation of Arts and Sciences. I have given lectures nationally on Schubert and Beethoven. My performance of Hugo Wolf's Moerke Lieder with pianist and conductor Lionel Friend of London, England was reviewed as one of the top ten performances of the decade by the Omaha World Herald. I grew up in the Cleveland, Ohio area where many of the ethnic Germans immigrated to between the two world wars. My grandparents on both sides of my family were ethnic Germans who lived in what is now Serbia. I went to Serbia two years ago for research and to see the village, Schowe, in which they grew up. I also went to see the Mass grave of ethnic German in a village a few miles away from Schowe in Jarek in which thousands of ethnic Germans were buried. Men and boys from the area were conscripted into the SS Waffen Division Prinz Eugen in which I believe some of the members of my family served.

What inspired you to author this book?
After reading the interviews of family members who lived in Schowe, I heard about the Genocide of the ethnic Germans for the first time. I was in my sixties and have never heard of this and was horrified that I did not know and that no one talked about it. I started my research and knew I had to write their story. I did three years of research and then started the book.

Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?
The cover is a photo of unknown relatives of mine from Schowe.

Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?
Mr. John Wustman, a world-renowned coach accompanist, is my teacher and mentor and has been a major influence in my life and study of music. In regards to writing, I am not sure. I am an avid reader and read about three books at a time. They are found in every room of the house.

What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?
I really didn't have any struggles. In some ways, it wrote itself.

Tell your readers about your book.
The above information tells about the book. I also tried to show the humanizing influences of music and the destructive influences of nationalism and racism. I feel that this is an important part of the book, but I have not hit people over the head. I left that up to the reader to discern. Also, I tried to make no judgments about the people and narrators in the book. They are who they are and a result of the times in which they lived.

Who is your target audience, and why?

My target audience is everyone who likes historical fiction and is interested in the history of Germany, I plan to write a book about the people who immigrated to American and became Americans because this is also an important part of the story of ethnic Germans

What do you consider your greatest success in life?

My performance of Schubert's Winterreise with John Wustman, the performance of Hugo Wolf's Moerike lieder with Lionel Friend, and my national lectures on Beethoven and Schubert.
What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

The absolute passion and drive I had to bring this story to a large audience. I had to find my home, Heimat in German, and know who I am and what my family sacrificed for me.