Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Combining Art with WWII: Kristy Cambron Part I

kristyToday I'm delighted to introduce you to a new friend of mine in this writing journey. Kristy Cambron is an author who's first novel, The Butterfly and the Violin, is out and garnering acclaim. Her book is the perfect blending of a contemporary and WWII story -- but not only is the book WONDERFUL, she's become a sweet friend who radiates Jesus. I LOVE her debut novel so much I have to share it with you. I'm also giving away a copy of her book so be sure to read to the end.

Kristy masterfully weaves contemporary and historical storylines together. While this half of the book takes place in Auschwitz, it is laced with hope...and the reality that God is with us anywhere we go. This book is beautiful and haunting. Breath-taking and page-turning. You’ll love it! If you love WWII fiction, you must go buy it immediately!
So Kristy's here and I want to introduce her to you and tell you more about her book. First, lets all take a moment to enjoy the GORGEOUS cover. Ahhhh. Okay, now onto the interview! 

The Butterfly and the Violin takes readers back to WWII in Austria and a concentration camp. How did you get the idea for this novel?
The idea for Adele’s story had been in the recesses of my heart for more than a decade, since I was a young college student in art school. It was then that I first learned that prisoners created art inside concentration camps - under penalty of death if caught in many circumstances. The majority of the artists did not survive and to this day, most remain unknown. The thought of creating art while facing death made me want to understand it more. I began reading anything I could find on the subject – in particular, Elie Wiesel’s Night had a profound impact on my desire to write this book.  

One element that I loved about this story was the incorporation of art inside the concentration camps. It’s a largely unknown story. Can you give us an example of how people continued to create inside the camps?

I think the Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz is just one of many examples. There was an official orchestra where musicians played to survive. I had the unbelievable opportunity to interview a survivor from Auschwitz-Birkenau when researching this book. I asked her about the orchestra – did she remember it? Did she see the musicians? What did the music sound like? She told me something I’ll never forget: each prisoner’s survival story was so unique, so terrifying, that they could have all heard the orchestra and remembered hearing a different song. I think that’s what connected me to Adele’s character most. Her experience had to be unique and so raw in places, but the artistic self-expression was something that united many of the prisoners.

Tomorrow I'll share more about Kristy's book, but now I want to share more about Kristy. We'll call it the speed-fire round of quick-hit questions:

Favorite food? Italian
Coffee or tea? Yes, please.
World traveler? Not yet – here’s hoping!
Dream vacation? Museum-walking in Paris, while holding my husband’s hand
Favorite movie? Classic 1930s-40s films, Pride and Prejudice (2005)
Favorite TV show? Downton Abbey, Little House on the Prairie
Favorite book? Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, and Night by Elie Wiesel
Favorite place to write? Everywhere! I write chapters on my iPhone wherever I am.
Funny quirk? I don’t wear pink
Secret love? NFL football (Go Colts!)
Most memorable Mom-moment? Saying, “Stop playing with the puke bucket!” – more than once
Why I write? Jesus Christ is everything to me, and I want every story to tell someone about Him.
Life verse? Joshua 1:9NIV – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
From reading those answers, I think you can see why Kristy and I are becoming writer friends. We are eerily similar -- except for the puke bucket comment! Here's more about her book, then be sure to read to the end for a giveaway of her book!

"In her historical series debut, Cambron expertly weaves together multiple plotlines, time lines, and perspectives to produce a poignant tale of the power of love and faith in difficult circumstances. Those interested in stories of survival and the Holocaust, such as Eli Weisel’s Night, will want to read." —Library Journal, Starred Review

". . . debut novelist Cambron vividly recounts interwoven sagas of heartache and recovery through courage, love, art, and faith." —Publishers Weekly

More about The Butterfly and the Violin 
A mysterious painting breathes hope and beauty into the darkest corners of Auschwitz—and the loneliest hearts of Manhattan.

Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire for distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl—a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes.

In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William Hanover, the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul, who may be the key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together, Sera and William slowly unravel the story behind the painting's subject: Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron.

A darling of the Austrian aristocracy, talented violinist, and daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks everything when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her life of prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and barbed wire.

As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds beauty in the most unlikely of places: in the grim camps of Auschwitz and in the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Bonnie Roof said...

Thanks for featuring Kristy, Cara!! Love the interview!!

Kristy has written such a beautiful book about such an emotional, touching subject. Years ago, I saw a movie about the Women's Orchestra - it left such an impact on me, and even more so - the Holocaust Museum I toured.

Such an accurate statement about Kristy: "she radiates Jesus". She certainly does - one of things I love about her, in addition to her masterful writing. I loved meeting she and her mother - Kristy is genuine and is truly beautiful inside and out!!

Shared post!!

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Wow, Kristy! Best wishes for you and the book!

Bonnie Roof said...

P.S. Found the rafflecopter after I commented. There is no way I could pick my fave WWII novel - too many good ones, including yours - Cara, Kristy's, Sarah Sundin, etc..


Cara Putman said...

So glad you came back, Bonnie. I was getting ready to try to come find you! I was a wee bit late adding that. Oops!

Anonymous said...

I have only read one World War II Novel and that was Simple Faith by Anna Schmidt and I really enjoyed it.
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

Jen Colson said...

There are too many great WWII novels to choose a favorite! One that I read recently was For Such a Time by Kate Breslin.

The Butterfly and the Violin has a beautiful cover and an intriguing title. Hoping I win a copy!

j c michigan at gmail dot com

Gail H. said...

Shadowed by Grace is my current favorite. I recently purchased a non-fiction about the survivors of the Indianapolis ship in WWII. My FIL was in the navy during WWII so anything during that time interests me.

Gail H. said...


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading Tricia Goyer's WWII series, haven't had the chance to read many others yet!
Pandamanda02(at) yahoo (dot) com

Pam K. said...

I've read a lot of World War II books that I like but there are two that come to mind as favorites: Kate Breslin's "For Such a Time" and a 1945 book, "I'll Never Forget You" by Renee Shann.

Cara Putman said...

Gail, thank you! I read a book on the USS indianapolis, too -- haunting and I skipped the chapter with the sharks.

Cara Putman said...

Pam, I'll have to look for Renee Shann's book. She's a new to me author.

Raechel said...

This is a book I want to read!
As for a favourite WWII novel...well, I love Sarah Sundin's works, and "Where Treetops Glisten" as well as "Daisies are Forever" by Liz Tolsma and "For Such a Time" by Kate Breslin. Those are some of my favourites. :)

traveler said...

My favorite World War 11 novel is The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Janka H. said...

Best cover EVER! Very excited about your new book!

As for the favourite WWII book is "The Bronze Horseman" by Paullina Simons because of the Stalingrad battle description.

God bless you both!

Caryl Kane said...

I don't have a favorite WWII novel. I would LOVE to read The Butterfly and the Violin. The cover is gorgeous. :)


kim amundsen said...

Great interview another new author for me to read.