Friday, April 14, 2023

Martha Hall Kelly Interview - The Golden Doves

Photo Credit: Jeff Mosier

Martha Hall Kelly's debut novel LILAC GIRLS, about socialite Caroline Ferriday and her fight to help a group of concentration camp survivors, became an Instant NY Times bestseller in 2016 and went on to sell over two million copies. Once the paperback stayed on the NYT list for fifty-four weeks, and became published in fifty countries she wrote two more novels: LOST ROSES about Caroline's mother, and SUNFLOWER SISTERS about her great grandmother, which also became Instant NY Times best sellers. Her latest novel, THE GOLDEN DOVES, which returns to WWII, arrives in bookstores April 18th, 2023.

Martha grew up in Massachusetts and now splits her time between Connecticut and New York City.


When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill? 
When I visited the Bellamy-Ferriday House and Gardens in Bethlehem, CT. and discovered the true story behind Lilac Girls.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre? 
Definitely Pride and Prejudice.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published. 
It's been a wild ride. Totally unexpected that Lilac Girls would become such a hit. I honestly thought no one would read it.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book? 
I got a puppy after I wrote Lilac Girls and that was a big distraction. He's the love of my life though so he's worth it!

Can you tell us when you started THE GOLDEN DOVES, how that came about? 
When I was researching Lilac Girls back in 2000 I discovered the Nazi ratline, the way fugitive Nazis escaped justice, by traveling down from Germany into Italy and off to South America. I knew I would write about it the first chance I got.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your characters? 
How much they teach me.

What were your inspirations for the character development? 
For Josie, my American character in GOLDEN DOVES Virginia Hall was my inspiration. Loved her book Woman of No Importance. It makes a great companion read for DOVES.

Meet the Characters.
Arlette LaRue on the left is a young French woman who has a baby with a German soldier, delivers it in a French Lebensborn home and flees before the Nazis take her baby. She teams up in the French Underground with Josie Anderson, a Jewish American, right, who is a radio operator and they become known throughout Paris as The Golden Doves, wanted by the gestapo.

What is the first job you have had? 
Waitress at a Sheraton restaurant in Boston

Best date you've ever had? 
Meeting my husband on the Bango Safari, a bus trip to different bars in southern Wisconsin.

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? 
Taking my dog out to walk.

What is your most memorable travel experience? 
To France to research Lilac Girls. Russia for Lost Roses is a close second!

What was your favorite subject when you were in school? 
English. Definitely not algebra. Still have PTSD from that class.

First Love? 
Tommy Hancock from seventh grade.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a kid? 
The fifties for sure.

What is one unique thing are you afraid of?
Not sure how unique it is but cockroaches. Ugh. The worst!!!

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before? 
Definitely heartbreak! Better to have loved and lost...

Two former female spies, bound together by their past, risk everything to hunt down an infamous Nazi doctor in the aftermath of World War II—an extraordinary novel inspired by true events from the New York Times bestselling author of Lilac Girls

American Josie Anderson and Parisian Arlette LaRue are thrilled to be working in the French resistance, stealing so many Nazi secrets that they become known as the Golden Doves, renowned across France and hunted by the Gestapo. Their courage will cost them everything. When they are finally arrested and taken to the Ravensbrück concentration camp, along with their loved ones, a reclusive Nazi doctor does unspeakable things to Josie’s mother, a celebrated Jewish singer who joined her daughter in Paris when the world seemed bright. And Arlette’s son is stolen from her, never to be seen again.

A decade later the Doves fall headlong into a dangerous dual mission: Josie is working for U.S. Army intelligence and accepts an assignment to hunt down the infamous doctor, while a mysterious man tells Arlette he may have found her son. The Golden Doves embark on a quest across Europe and ultimately to French Guiana, discovering a web of terrible secrets, and must put themselves in grave danger to finally secure justice and protect the ones they love.

Martha Hall Kelly has garnered acclaim for her stunning combination of empathy and research into the stories of women throughout history and for exploring the terrors of Ravensbrück. With The Golden Doves, she has crafted an unforgettable story about the fates of Nazi fugitives in the wake of World War II—and the unsung females spies who risked it all to bring them to justice.

You can purchase The Golden Doves at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you MARTHA HALL KELLY for making this giveaway possible.
2 Winners will receive a Copy of The Golden Doves by Martha Hall Kelly.