Featured Interview With Gosia Nealon
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
While Gosia Nealon is a proud New Yorker, she was born and raised in Poland. Her journey to the Big Apple revealed a wealth of cultural differences, but also the values that connect us all. Like the fierce desire to protect family, find love, and ultimately, discover who we are and why we’re here.
Gosia’s award-winning short stories have always delved into life’s biggest questions, but it was the drama, sacrifice, and tragedy of WWII that led her to pen her debut novel, "The Last Sketch."
Growing up in Poland, Gosia heard many firsthand accounts of the war, told from a perspective rarely captured in mainstream literature. She was compelled to breathe life into Wanda and Finn, two young people falling in love in the midst of the most terrifying conflict of our time.
When Gosia isn’t tapping away at her laptop, she’s often walking the streets of New York. With her husband and two young sons in tow, they search for the most succulent pierogi, transporting them back to the cobbled streets of her childhood.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I realized my fascination with books when I was 11. I especially enjoyed reading books written by Lucy M. Montgomery.
I started writing when I was 16. My first articles where published in the Polish national magazine.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
My favorite author is Judith McNaught. Her books kept me up at night. I also like other historical fiction writers, like Amy Harmon, Shari Ryan, Kelly Rimmer, and Nicholas Sparks. Sometimes I like to go back to classic literature: Henryk Sienkiewicz, Stefan Zeromski, Leo Tolstoy or Mikhail Bulgakov.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
It took me around 18 months to write "The Last Sketch." It's a World War II historical fiction novel set in Warsaw and Montauk.
Here is a brief description:
Poland, 1944. Wanda Odwaga will never stop resisting. As the Nazis occupy her beloved homeland, the twenty-three-year-old artist vows to do whatever it takes to help the underground movement mobilize against Hitler’s forces. But she’s devastated when the Gestapo storms her house in search of rebel leaders, killing her heroic father and leaving the face of his murderer forever etched in her mind.
New York. Finn Keller longs to balance the scales. Having escaped Germany with his mother as a teen, he’s disgusted his estranged twin brother has become a ruthless Nazi henchman with a vicious reputation. So when a covert government agency approaches him with a dangerous undercover mission, Finn willingly risks his life to play his part in turning the tide of war.
Still grieving her unforgivable loss, Wanda’s thirst for revenge takes an unexpected leap forward when she once again encounters her father’s killer. And as Finn dives deeply into the role of impersonating his cold-hearted sibling, he’s captivated by the beautiful Polish woman frozen in front of him… her eyes blazing with the promise of murder.
Can these two players in a deadly game survive the ravages of a sadistic conflict?
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