Vanda’s Talks About Her New Book, Olympus Nights on the Square
May 22, 2018
Olympus Nights on the Square received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.
The Interview with author, Vanda.
I’m the author of Olympus Nights on the Square. I published it through my imprint Sans Merci on October 17, 2017. It’s the second book of my Juliana Series, but you can start with Book 2 and not be lost.
What is the first line of Olympus Nights in the Square?
“When the Germans surrendered in May of ’45, we knew the war was almost over.”
What’s the book about? Give us the pitch.
In a world where same sex relationships are illegal can Alice and Juliana’s love survive?
Juliana wants to be a star and she has the singing voice to do it. Alice is determined to make Juliana into the star she wants to be. The worst thing that could happen to Juliana is to be discovered as gay. The worst thing that could happen to Alice is to lose Juliana. Alice must guard their secret at all costs. Will the gossip columnists and the new laws destroy them?
With Olympus Nights on the Square you walk into a world of postwar nightclub drama. It’s sexy, funny and deadly serious; full of mobsters, the FBI, McCarthyism, gay bashing and “cures” for homosexuality. A lot like now.
What inspired you to write this book?
I was teaching a psychology class at Metropolitan College of New York, a small private college in Manhattan. The class and I began to talk about the new freedoms that the LGBT community was achieving. As the discussion continued it became clear that these students did not have the slightest idea about the struggles and pain gays went through to achieve the acceptance they have today. They didn’t even know that one time you could be arrested for simply walking into a gay or lesbian bar. Right then, I decided I had to write the story, but I wanted it to be accessible and enjoyable for gay and straight, male and female. I knew that telling the true history with fictional characters would make the story more interesting to a wider group of people.
What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?
It’s fun. The characters are real people who stumble and grow and are often funny. There is a mixture of different types of characters: lesbians, gay men, straight men and women, an early transgender individual. Many of these characters form a tight-knit group to protect each other from a world that could devour them. This book also gives people a detailed view of how the world has changed since then and it is not a nostalgic view.
What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who—real or fiction—would you say the character reminds you of?
My main character, Alice Huffman, who prefers to be called Al, is a spunky, determined young woman who gets things done. I like to think she is the better part of me, but I’m not sure.
Which book do you wish you’d written?
There are two. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Somerset Maugham’s The Moon and Sixpence.