So, now that I'm in an official "pre-publication phase," I thought I'd keep you all posted (and keep myself on track with everything on my to-do list) by providing a weekly post about Quiet Americans. Some weeks I'll be seeking help, but I'll try not to deluge you with infinite requests.
This week, I'll start things off simply by saying a bit more about the book's general theme. All of the stories in this collection are in some way influenced by the experiences of my paternal grandparents, German Jews who immigrated to the United States in the late 1930s, and/or by my own identity and preoccupations as a member of the "Third Generation." (In fact, some years ago I presented a conference paper titled "Ever After? History, Healing, and 'Holocaust Fiction' in the Third Generation," which is quite relevant in this context; the paper was subsequently published as part of the conference proceedings, and you can download it here.)
Given this background, I decided a long time ago that if this book ever saw publication, I would give over some of the profits to The Blue Card, an organization my family has supported for years. The Blue Card's purpose is to assist survivors of Nazi persecution in the United States. Our family has been blessed in this country in so many ways, and one of the greatest blessings is that my grandparents were able to live their final years with comfort and dignity. Sadly, not everyone who survived Nazi persecution is so fortunate. That is why The Blue Card is so important.
On Monday afternoon, I met with The Blue Card's executive director to discuss the book. He was extremely supportive and helpful, providing some excellent suggestions for me to pursue to help get the book to a wider audience. It was a wonderful beginning to this pre-publication period.