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Necklace of Warm Snow
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Title: Necklace of Warm Snow

Author: Brenda Hall

Publisher: Publish America; (November 2003)

ISBN: 1413704298

Paperback; 177pp



Rating: Recommended


May 4, 2004


During the 1942 Paris round-up of Jews, Lena is separated from her family and forced into hiding. It's there in the rural French countryside that she meets and falls in love with Alistair, a British secret agent. At the conclusion of his mission Alistair leaves Lena behind thinking she will be safe. Years after the war, Alistair, trapped in a loveless marriage returns to France searching for his lost love. Instead he finds more intrigue and is murdered.


Alistair's daughter, Hillary, is determined to find out the truth behind her father's murder. As a result of her parents battleground of a marriage, Hillary lived with the feeling of loneliness throughout her childhood. It was only before Alistair's trip to France that she began to feel her father's love. Solving Alistair's murder, Hillary finally discovers what she was missing in her life.


Two stories weaved into one, Necklace of Warm Snow has it all... love, espionage and murder. Ms. Hall's duel storyline takes the reader through the looking glass of time and history with well written and heart warming scenes.


Reviewed by: Susan Weekley


An Interview with Brenda Hall




Betsie: To start this off, why don't you give an idea of what the book is about?


It's about how the lives of ordinary people are affected by the world's major events, not just at the time they happen, but even in later generations.



Betsie: Where did you grow up and was reading and writing a part of your life?

I grew up near London and, yes, reading was always my major passion.


Betsie: Who were your earliest influences and why?

My parents and grandparents because we were a close family.


Betsie: What would a typical day be like for a writer?


For me, a typical writing day is to start at around 8.00.am and work until lunchtime. A lot of that time is spent staring at the screen! Sometimes I can write 1500 words, sometimes 100.I go for a walk after lunch and that's when I find ideas for the next section start to take shape. I do research and reading in the afternoon.



Betsie: How long have you been writing and in what capacities?


I have been writing since 1985, first articles in a professional capacity, then poetry and short stories.



Betsie: Which is more difficult to write - Fiction or nonfiction and why?

Fiction is more difficult because you have to start with nothing and create a credible world inhabited by believable characters.



Betsie: Has there ever been a time when you wanted to throw in the towel and give up? And if so, how did you defeat those instincts?


Not really. I write because of an inner drive. I don't think too much about publication or commercial success.




Betsie: What is the hardest part about being a writer?


Earning enough money to live on.



Betsie: Do you have any hobbies? What are they? How do they enhance your writing?

Walking, listening to music, reading history. Everything I do has an impact on what I write—experience is my raw material.



Betsie: Articles and media alike make it sound as though the only way to rise to the top is to sacrifice. What do you find to be good sacrifices?


I suppose the sacrifice is a good income. If concentrated more on working to earn, I'd have fewer financial problems.



Betsie: What question do you get asked more than any other?

What's your next book?


Betsie: What’s the coolest thing a reader has said to you?

'Thank you'.


Betsie: What has been your feedback from readers? What do they say to you about their interpretations of your book?

I have had positive feedback mostly from people who know the period and area that my book is set in. They like the relation of the past to the present.


Betsie: Do you think that as a writer you are more prone to watching what goes on around you and observing behaviors than most people are?

Oh yes. I store it all away for future use.


Betsie: Who are some of the authors you consider to be "don't miss"?

This is too hard to answer because there are so many. My own favorites are classic novelists

Such as George Eliot and Mrs Gaskell. Today I enjoy Margaret Attwood, Doris Lessing, Margaret Drabble, and new writers such as Monica Ali.




Betsie: If one were looking to start his/her own career as a writer, what would you suggest his/her first step to be?


Write every day and join a writers' group.



Betsie: What kind of movies do you enjoy?

Old movies such as High Noon. French films such as those by Truffaut, Bunuel, Chabrol.


Betsie: What is your favorite city to visit, but one that you wouldn’t want to live in?



Betsie: What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked in an interview?

Frankly nobody has ever asked me anything very strange at all.


Betsie: What’s the best part of being a writer?

Creating your own worlds.


Betsie: What's next?

I'm working on a novel set in 17th-century England and I have an agent wishing to see the manuscript…but it's not finished yet.