Interview with Sigrid Weidenweber, Author of Catherine, The Volga Flows Forever, Book One
Born in Germany in 1941, Sigrid Weidenwber remembers the horrific aftermath of fascism. At the end of the war, she found herself living under communism. After the Berlin Wall was built, she managed to escape the repressive environment with the help of friends and a French passport. To this day she does not speak French.
She holds degrees in medical technology, psychology and an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Concordia University of Portland, Oregon for her trilogy “The Volga Flows Forever.” In her trilogy she brings to life Catherine the Great in her multiple roles as monarch, woman, lover, mother, grandmother and head of the general staff of the army, in Volume one. The following two historical volumes deal with the Volga Germans brought to Russia by Catherine’s edict.
Three years ago she moved to Santa Rosa Valley, California from Portland Oregon. She has passionately embraced California together with her family that also resides here.
In Beuthen O/S Germany This part was ceded to Poland by Russian decree.
What is your fondest childhood memory?
The day we were sold bread. It was a year after WWII ended and got enough for each person to eat and feel full.
Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?
I write regularly between four and seven pm.
What is this book about?
It tells the life of Catherine the Great from the historical perspective of a woman. Catherine is an adventure into the heart, mind and soul of one of history's greatest rulers. The story reveals the full spectrum of a woman's potential by exploring the breadth and depth of feminine experience. Catherine exposes everything every woman ever wanted to experience and more. I offer compassionate insight into Catherine's weaknesses along with an admiring view of her strengths. This is a bold and vivid story about the daring of one woman meshed with a psychological peeling of the layers of character found in every woman. This is a book for readers who want to experience the true soul of history through one of the most dramatic lives ever lived.
What inspired you to write it?
I was writing the second book of my trilogy “The Volga Flows Forever,” when I found my research material saturated with references to Catherine. She was adored, maligned and vilified and her detractors outright lied to diminish the woman.
Who is your favorite character from the book?
Of course, Catherine the Great, but I was also intrigued by Count Potemkin.
Who is your biggest supporter?
My husband and a few good men in literary circles.
Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?
For the trilogy my work was read and critiqued by professors of different Concordia Universities.
Who is your favorite author?
I have a few, but probably Shakespeare.
Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?
I was published by a university—so it was fairly easy.
If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?
NO. Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
On amazon.com, from my website: sigridw.com, from Concordia University, and from downloads through Nook and Kindle.
What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?
Lectured about the subject.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?
Trust in your own style and believe in your subject matter.
What is up next for you?
I am working on a murder mystery, I blog often and lecture.