JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Ellen Brazer, author of Clouds Across the Sun
Before the end of WWII, Hitler charged a group of his most trusted and brilliant comrades with a mission—educate your progeny and then elevate them to positions of power throughout the world. Steeped in fact and impeccably researched, Clouds Across the Sun is the story of just one of these children.
From Naples, Florida, New York City and Washington D.C., to Israel and then the killing grounds of Vilnius, Poland (Lithuania) this story is one of great romance, discovery, redemption and enlightenment as Jotto Wells unravels the intrigue surrounding a plan to take over the government of the United States.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write Clouds Across the Sun?
Ellen Brazer: Over a lifetime of encounters, when I decided not to walk away from chance encounters but to cultivate new friendships. From that conscious decision, I befriended: Menachem Perlmuter, Architect of the Negev, Survivor of the Holocaust at 16.
He taught me that even through great adversity it is possible to maintain our faith and belief in humanity. Boris, a Gold Medal Olympic wrestler who gave up everything for the opportunity of freedom, Gula Gatt, a gentile who helped create a Kibbutz in Northern Israel.
Historical Fiction is my genre, but their stories were the inspiration for my work.
JP: What sets Clouds Across the Sun apart from other books in the same genre?
EB: When you finish reading my book you will ask yourself: can this happen? Is it happening? One of my premises is that with enough money, a presidential office can be bought.
We have just seen this happen in Florida where I live. Regardless of my personal feeling about our new governor, he was unknown until he threw fifty million dollars into his campaign.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to Clouds Across the Sun getting out to the public?
EB: My first book, Hearts of Fire won Hadassah’s prestigious Myrtle Wreath Award, an award previously won by Maya Angelou. My second book, Clouds Across the Sun is a historical novel.
I have been the featured speaker at: The Jewish Museum, Na’Amat, Temple Sisterhoods, Brandeis Alumni, Book stores and clubs, Libraries, Woman’s Clubs, Book/Author luncheons for Hadassah, National Council of Jewish Women, Jewish Heritage Clubs, Yiddish Clubs, the Holocaust Documentation Center, the Denver Book Fair, Brandeis/Hadassah Conversations in Westchester, NY and Boca Raton and the Beth Tfiloh synagogue in Baltimore, Maryland.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish Clouds Across the Sun?
EB: I belong to a very powerful writing group, and we meet every week. This holds my feet to the fire to always have a new chapter to read. My first book took me ten years. It spent time in the closet and under the bed. My second book took two years of constant writing, rewriting and editing.
JP: What’s next for Ellen Brazer?
EB: I am writing a historical novel, And So It Was Written, that takes place in the year 130 CE. During that time, a man named Shimon Bar Kockba was declared the Messiah of the Jewish people. For a period of three years, the Jews defeated Rome and ruled Israel.
The storyline follows two brothers and takes place in Israel and Rome. I have finished the first draft and am now working on the rewrite. It always amazes me that my first draft always feels so right when I am writing, and then when I finish it seems to be only an outline.