Thursday, August 6, 2015

Eris Field, Author of No Greater Love

Circassian beauty, child refugees, restitution, Holocaust, Amsterdam, Istanbul, international romance, eris field, no greater love

Today we are interviewing Eris Field, author of the international romance "No Greater Love."

Tell us a bit about yourself.
When I was 17 and had just started my training as a nurse, I met my future husband, a Turkish intern, and developed an interest in other cultures. After several years in psychiatric nursing, I started to write novels. Now, I work full time at researching and writing contemporary, international romances that tend to feature psychiatrists, international charmers, and fascinating cities.

Describe the plot of “No Greater Love” in a few sentences.
For two people—Janan and Pieter—love seems to have passed them by while they have been the dutiful caregivers of their families, but when they fall in love, they share the one night they have. A serious illness and a selfish mother prevent Pieter from returning to Janan, and Janan, pregnant with twins, refuses to seek out Pieter. She has lived without love so long, she cannot bear the thought of Pieter marrying her for the sake of the babies, not for love. Carl tries to contact Pieter but Pieter’s mother who does not want a daughter-in-law from Eastern Turkey does not give him the message. Carl then offers Janan a way out—marriage. He will give her support and a name for the twins that she carries and she will take him home, back to Leiden to seek retribution for his father .Janan knows that accepting Carl’s offer may cost her all chances of a life with Pieter but she chooses to do what is best for the babies.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?

Women between 35 and 65 seem to like my novels.

I think Turkish-American readers would enjoy the book. There are approximately 500.000 Turkish-Americans in the US and a slightly smaller number in Canada.

What inspired you to write a book about a young woman who must make sacrifices to help her family?

In No Greater Love, Janan’s life has slipped by as she took care of aging relatives. But when love comes, she knows it, and, although Pieter will be gone in the morning, she seizes the chance to have one night of happiness. I have known many women who did not seize that opportunity when it came and later regretted it. I also know some who have seized the opportunity and paid the price as Janan does.

Tell us a bit about the protagonist, Janan.
When Janan was eight, an earthquake killed her mother, father, and twin brother, Tomas. Abandoned in an orphanage in eastern Turkey, she was rescued by an American who had studied copper designing with her father. He and his wife who have no children adopt Janan and she grows up in a small village in Western New York. In that family, is an older uncle, Carl, who had been sent by his father, a Dutch-Jew in Leiden, Holland, as a five year old during WWII to save him from the Nazis. This older uncle, Carl, supported Janan’s desire to go to college when her adoptive parents did not, and now she looks after him. Like all refugees, Janan and Carl yearn to go home, even though there is no longer a home or family for either of them.

One theme of “No Greater Love” is about making sacrifices for the benefit of one’s family. Did you set out to explore this theme? Or did it develop as you wrote?
The story is about Janan, a Turkish-American girl, whoseTurkish upbringing and culture would have taught her that the welfare of the family is more important than the happiness on one person. Her life in American would have taught her that the individual has the right to happiness. She struggles with these contradictory beliefs. Ironically, when she risks everything for her individual happiness, she is saved by Carl’s belief that the family—Janan and her babies—are more important than the individual. Pieter, who risks everything to overcome leukemia so that he can return to Janan, believes that it is right for individuals to seek happiness even if it means turning his back on his family.

Are there any authors who have influenced your writing style?
An early influence was Betty Neels who wrote international romances. In her stories, family honor was highly valued but the right of individuals to love was held even higher.

Tell us about your creative process, from initial idea to published manuscript.
My stories begin when characters make themselves known to me and start telling me their stories. They ride in the back seat of my car and talk to me and to each other. I know what they want, what they fear, and what painful experiences they have endured. From that knowledge, I begin to weave a tapestry of time, places, events, and other people that become part of their struggle to get what they want.

What are your goals as a writer for the next ten years?
I intend to continue to write contemporary, international romances. There are so many fascinating people in the world.

Is there any aspect of writing you don't like?
I like all aspects of writing. My favorite is research but the temptation is to follow each thread that research uncovers and that can lead you away from the story.

What do you have in mind for your next project?

My next hero is a Peshmerga fighter—a glorious hero.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
Many of us are refugees at some time in our life—fleeing from conflict, disasters, or family rejection—while yearning to return home, even though that home no longer exists.

An excerpt from "No Greater Love":
“To get back to the business at hand. You just gave me a lovely kiss of introduction.”

“A kiss of introduction?” she stammered. “I didn’t know kisses had names.”

“Well, there are lots of different kinds of kisses and names help keep them straight in one’s mind.”

“Is it important? To keep them straight?”

“Oh, yes. Each kiss has a definite purpose . . .and outcome.”

“Outcome?” she squeaked.

He put his hands on her shoulders and turned her to face him and, when she did not resist, he pulled her closer. “I am going to acknowledge your kiss of introduction.” He moved his hands to cup her face as he lowered his lips until they rested firmly against hers and then began to move gently. Lifting his head, his breathing rapid, he said, “Now we are getting to know each other better, don’t you agree.”

Touching her lips with her finger tips, she nodded. “After the acknowledging kiss?”

“Then we will use our hands and tiny getting-to-know-you kisses,” he whispered as his long fingers traced her eyes, her nose and her mouth, each touch followed by a kiss.
. . .
“Invitation,” he murmured as he trailed kisses down her throat toward the first button partially hidden in the ruffles of the low neckline of her blouse. He groaned as he unbuttoned his jacket and pulled off his tie. “We aren’t doing this right. He took a step in her direction. “Remember you said when you were shoveling the walk that it would go better if two people worked at it?” . . . he guided her fingers to the first button of his shirt.

. . . ‘She hesitated. “I should tell you that I am not sure . . “

“We will not do anything that you don’t want to do.” . . .

“I am not sure that I know what to do.”

“The process?”

‘Yes. I have read about it clinically of course, but I have had limited personal experience?

“I see,” he maneuvered the hook at the waist band of her skirt and let it slide silently to the floor. “How limited?”

“Very limited.” Her breath was coming in quick gasps.

“My experience has been limited too, but I think I can remember enough to guide us through the process.”

She shot him a frosty look. “You are tall, dark, and handsome.  Somehow I doubt that your experience has been limited.”

More Information

Buy "No Greater Love" on Amazon 
Check out Eris Field's website 

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