Home > NewsRelease > In Conversation with Bee Lindy and J.T. Maicke Author of Iron Maiden
In Conversation with Bee Lindy and J.T. Maicke Author of Iron Maiden
Norm Goldman --  BookPleasures.com Norm Goldman -- BookPleasures.com
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Montreal, QC
Thursday, February 15, 2024


Bee Lindy

Bee Lindy has beenwriting book reviews since she was a child. Her notebooks are full ofreviews that she wrote before she had her first personal computer.

Before the advent ofthe Internet, Bee had her first personal computer, and has been savingreviews on computer files ever since.

Her first reviewsappeared in her high school and college news papers many moons ago.

More recently she haswritten reviews as a guest reviewer on various book blogs.

Professionally, she isa fundraiser for various non-profit organizations which entails agreat deal of writing. Bee lives with her husband and two dogs.

View all articles by Bee Lindy

Bookpleasures.com welcomesour guest, J.T. Maicke whose newest novel, Iron Maiden, was justreleased in October. A self-described Germanophile, J.T. Maickewrites historical fiction novels that take place in Germany or amongGerman-American communities in the Midwest. He has spent most of hislife studying German history, geography, language, culture, customs,and cuisine. Maicke also spent several years living in and travelingthroughout Central Europe, and he has visited many of the locationsdepicted in his novels. Maicke’s debut novel was ‘The HumbleCourier.’

Welcome J.T. and thank youfor taking part in our interview.

 Bee: Please tell ussomething about Iron Maiden that is not in the summary. (About thebook, character you particularly enjoyed writing, etc.)

J.T.:I have a lot of fun creating my villains. I tendto have at least a couple of them in each of my stories and theyrange from the stupid, cruel, and obvious, such as Henry of Edinburghin Iron Maiden, to the more devious and complex, such as AugustBibermann and Chancellor Manfred von Eichenburg.

Bee: When did you firsthave a desire to write? How did this desire manifest itself?

J.T.:I’ve always wanted to be a fiction writer. WhenI was bored during high school classes, I would write serial storieswith my best friends and myself as the lead characters. My buddieswould pass them around between classes. I did quite a bit of writingin college and first published a magazine article during my senioryear. I earned $50 dollars – a nice bit of money for a 2,500-wordarticle back in 1982! I had planned to write novels when I was in mytwenties or thirties but found myself putting it off due to thepressures of career and family. I finally came to realize that if Ididn’t write a book soon, I was never going to do it. So, Iknuckled down and published my first novel The Humble Courier when Iwas in my late 50s. I published my second story Iron Maiden: AnAlternate History of the German Empire two years later.

Bee: How completely do youdevelop your characters before beginning to write?

J.T.:I had been writing my stories in my head for yearsbefore I finally started tapping them out on my laptop. Therefore, myprincipal characters were pretty much fully developed before I beganwriting. The secondary characters just seem to come to me as I write.I actually find the most interesting characters in stories to be thesupporting cast. Writing the dialogue between the heroine—in thisstory, the Princess Christiana—and the secondary characters, bothgood guys and bad, is really a lot of fun. In Iron Maiden, myfavorite supporting character is General von Heeringen, the Ministerof War. He appears in numerous scenes throughout the story and Ithink his personality provides a lot of flavor. I also love insertingfamous historic persons into my stories to interact with my fictionalprincipals. In Iron Maiden, several British royals—including QueenVictoria and King George V—as well as Winston Churchill, TheodoreRoosevelt and others make cameo appearances.

Bee: Tell us about yourcover. Did you design it yourself?

J.T.:I suggested to my publisher, Daniel Willis of DXVaros Publishing, to have Princess Christiana pictured on the coverstanding in front of a famous Berlin landmark, such as theBrandenburg Gate, the Victory Column, or the Reichstag. Instead,Daniel chose the Berlin Cathedral, which I think works very nicely.The cover was designed by Ellie Bockert Augsburger of CreativeDigital Studios. Ellie did a wonderful job and her depiction ofChristiana is almost exactly how I pictured her when writing thestory.

Bee: Christina seemed socourageous. Where did you find inspiration for her character? How didyou decide she should become ruler of Germany?

J.T.:Several years ago, I read an excellent biographyof Wilhelm II called The Kaiser and His Times by the Englishhistorian Michael L. G. Balfour. This outstanding book provoked theprincipal idea for Iron Maiden: how might the history of the 20thcentury have developed if Germany had been ruled by a monarchequipped with a more mature and integrated personality than WilhelmII?

In myoriginal plan for this novel, Wilhelm was to be succeeded by anobscure Prussian prince. After further thought, however, I askedmyself “Why a man? Why not a woman?” Indeed, why not a princess,armed with intelligence and insight, an appreciation for the powerand potential of democracy and modern technology, and equipped with along-range vision of peace and prosperity, not only for Germany butfor the whole of Europe? Moreover, what better way to initiate abreak from the paternalism and overbearing masculinity thatcharacterized Wilhelmine society than to put a woman on the Prussianand imperial German thrones?

Bee: What writers have youdrawn inspiration from?

J.T.:I’ve always been interested in history and Ibegan reading novels by James Michener (my favorites of his arePoland, Texas, and Alaska) and James Clavell’s stories of the FarEast, including Shogun, Tai-Pan, Noble House, and King Rat) when Iwas a teenager. The historical fiction writers I most admire nowadaysinclude Ken Follett—particularly his Kingsbridge series—BerhardCornwell, Robert Harris, and the late George MacDonald Fraser’sFlashman stories. Cornwell and Harris often put additional historicalcontext in an Author’s Note at the end of their stories, a stylewhich I have borrowed for my novels.

Bee: What do you do whenyou are not writing?

J.T.:I spend time with my wife, children, andgrandchildren, often attending their sporting events. I also readconstantly) and work around our house and yard.

Bee: What are youcurrently working on?

J.T.:I write stories that take place in Germany oramong German-American communities in the Midwest. I’m currentlyworking on a sequel to my first novel The Humble Courier, the storyof Father Hartmann Bottger, a brave German priest who resorts toviolence to oppose the terror of the SS and the Gestapo during he1930s. The sequel will cover the American branch of the Bottgerfamily and takes place principally in Chicago and St. Louis. I’malso considering a sequel to Iron Maiden, which would be set in 21stcentury Germany.

Bee: Thanks once again andgood luck with all of your endeavors

 Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Norm Goldman
Title: Book Reviewer
Group: bookpleasures.com
Dateline: Montreal, QC Canada
Direct Phone: 514-486-8018
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