Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Interview with B.R.A.G Medallion Honoree Elisabeth Marrion

Please join me in welcoming B.R.A.G Medallion honoree

Elisabeth Marrion to A Literary Vacation today!  Elisabeth was born August 1948, in Hildesheim Germany. Her father was a Corporal in the Royal Air Force and stationed after the War in the British occupied zone in Germany, where he met her mother Hilde, a War Widow.

 As a child she enjoyed reading books and plays by Oscar Wilde, Thornton Wilder and never lost her love of reading novels by Ernest Hemingway, or short stories by Guy de Maupassant.

 In 1969 she moved to England where she met her husband David. Together they established a clothing importing company. Their business gave them the opportunity to travel and work in the Sub Continent and the Far East. A large part of their working life was spent in Bangladesh, where they helped to establish a school in the rural part of the Country, training young people in trades such as sign writing, electrical work and repair of computers and televisions.

For inspiration she puts on her running shoes for a long coastal run near the New Forest, where she now lives.


Hello, Elisabeth, and welcome to A Literary Vacation! To start off with, please tell us a little about your book, Liverpool Connection?

First of all, I would like to thank you, Colleen, for including me on your marvelous Blog site. Liverpool Connection tells us Annie’s story. Annie leaves Ireland in 1926, with her best friend Flo, hoping to find a better life in Liverpool. Only too soon, Annie falls in love, marries and starts a family of her own. Times are hard for the young, growing family and with the onset of World War Two, there is tragedy and loss. Help comes from an unlikely source, a German woman called Hilde, whose life and situation mirrors Annie’s.

I see that Liverpool Connection is the second book in a trilogy. Would you say this can be read as a standalone book or must readers start with book one in the trilogy?

Thank you for mentioning that Liverpool Connection is part of a trilogy. All three novels are available now. They can be read as stand-alone books, or as a series, whichever the readers prefer. We follow the lives of three different women, living in different parts of the world, during World War Two.

I also see that Liverpool Connection is based on a true story. Can you tell us a little bit more about the true story that inspired it? What led you to fictionalize this true story?


Yes, my books are based upon true stories. The first one, The Night I Danced with Rommel, is my mother, Hilde’s, story. Liverpool Connection. Annie’s story. Annie was my late husband, David’s, mother. But it is also about my own father who was British and in the Royal Air Force. I grew up knowing our family history and connections to England, and David filled me in on what life was like growing up in poverty-stricken Liverpool at that time. The last book, Cuckoo Clock-New York, is Esther’s story; a young doctor leaving Hildesheim Germany, my home town, November 1938, after the burning of the Synagogue. It is important for society to understand what those women had to go through, but I felt it would be prudent to fictionalize the stories.

What sort of research went into writing Liverpool Connection?

I loved the research. I grew up in Germany and knew my mother’ story, but I still had to verify the historical events: when, how and why, in the correct timeline. The information I did not have from family members was available on-line. I also contacted The RAF and War Records. This process was very informative, since the German people rarely talked about the war. The subject is almost taboo. Unfortunately, this attitude still effects today’s generation. My German family was shocked when I decided to write these books, but today, they and their friends are glad, I did.

It sounds like, as well as being historical, it has quite a bit of emotion involving mothers and children, which can transcend any time period. How did you tackle this aspect of the story? Did you draw from anything in particular to help write this emotional storyline?     
Since the stories are largely about my own family, I was on an emotional roller coaster. Many families suffered such hardship, and many children hardly ever knew their fathers who were fighting in foreign places. Even when they were lucky enough to come home, quite often, the children failed to form close relationships with their fathers. There are places in my book where I still cry when reading specific paragraphs.

Historical fiction happens to be my all-time favorite genre and I find myself going back and forth between what periods of history are my favorite to read about. Do you have a favorite time period to write and/or read about, or do you enjoy jumping around as I do?

Well, I do and I don’t. When I write, I don’t think I would go further back than the 1920s .There are so many excellent writers out there who are brilliantly portraying history. I do not have enough information to do it justice. But I can easily relate to the 20th Century, where I can become my characters. Up until now, the protagonists in my novels are strong females (must be my mother’s influence). However, when I write short stories, the main characters are male, or in one case, it was a surgery bun. I wonder why?

On reading, I am, like you, a ‘jumper’. I love American, Russian, and Australian History. But I also like Contemporary Fiction. My next project is what they now refer to today as a ‘chick lit’. 60s, 70s, and now.

What does a typical day (if there is one) look like for you? How do you balance writing and the rest of your life?

My life has been thrown into turmoil, since my husband passed away. I am starting again and beginning to structure my days, albeit differently. I write in the mornings, otherwise, the day takes over. If I feel like going for a run, mid-morning is a good time for that. Gym, swimming or a movie, I would do in the afternoon. Family and friends mostly on weekends. The days just seem to fly past.

What drew you to independently publish Liverpool Connection as opposed to seeking traditional publishing?

I am published in Germany and England. In Germany, I am with a smaller traditional publishing house. I have the advantage of seeing the good and not so good points of the publishing business. Yes, it is nice to say I am published the traditional way. But believe me, you lose total control of your book’s destiny. To get yourself a name out there, you have to take the same initiative as you would have to as an Indie writer without being given the chance to promote your books via your chosen avenues.

I found a wonderful Indie publisher, whose reputation travels before them, and it was through their professionalism that I got as far with
Liverpool Connection as I did.

How did you discover indieBRAG and what does it mean to you to have Liverpool Connection awarded the BRAG Medallion?

My lovely Indie publisher again, which provides support long after your book has been published. They promote their writers constantly. Many of their writers have received the B.R.A.G. medallion for some of their books. What does it mean to me? Having been awarded the B.R.A.G Medallion? It means the world!


Thank you, Elisabeth, for taking the time to stop by and answer my questions! You can learn more about Elisabeth and her books on her website, Facebook and Twitter. You can also purchase Liverpool Connection at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

A Message from indieBRAG:

We are delighted that Colleen has chosen to interview Elisabeth Marrion, who is the author of Liverpool Connection, our medallion honoree at indieBRAG. To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion ® , a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as Past Encounters merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.


  1. Very nice interview, and the book sounds very appealing. On the list!

    1. Thank you Deborah and thank you Colleen to take the time to interview me, It is very much appriciated