Thursday, September 5, 2019

Author Interview: Gwen C. Katz

Gwen C. Katz is the author of Among the Red Stars, which is a book I thoroughly enjoyed earlier this year. I'm so happy Gwen reached out with an opportunity to read her book, because it put an incredible story on my radar that I might have missed otherwise.

"Overall, Among the Red Stars captured my attention and offered an honest and realistic portrayal of the women in Aviation Group 122 (from what I've been reading about them anyways). Katz piqued my interest, and I've been doing some of my own research into their lives and what they were able to accomplish. A very interesting read!"

If you would like to read the rest of my review, just click on the link in the first paragraph! I'm thrilled Gwen was willing to do an interview, because her book left me with a lot of questions (not with the story itself, but about the history surrounding the women included in her book). I love stories about woman overcoming obstacles and changing history! (Evie Dunmore's Bringing Down the Duke has similar vibes with the women's suffrage movement.)


Q1) Why did you decide to write about the Night Witches from WW2? What originally sparked your interest?

GCK: My father-in-law was the one who originally told me about the Night Witches. He's a big war aviation buff and I asked him one time about female pilots. I ended up dedicating the book to him.

Q2) At the end of your book, you mentioned that most of the characters were based on real people. Was it hard to give these people a voice within your story?

GCK: I actually found this really natural! When I was reading about these people, their voices came through so clearly that I just had to use the real people instead of making up fictional supporting characters.

Q3) I really loved the letters between Valka and Pasha! Did you always plan to tell most of their story that way, or did it just sort of happen?

GCK: I read Dracula at a formative age and I've been a big fan of epistolary novels ever since. Right from the start I realized that would be a great storytelling tool in this book. I hope I'll get the chance to revisit the format in the future, because I think it's a really enjoyable style.

Q4) If you had been a part of Aviation Group 122, what job would have been assigned to you? (Pilot, Navigator, Mechanic, etc.)

GCK: Realistically I probably would have ended up in Siberia, but if I somehow managed to avoid that fate, I'd be a mechanic. Flying a plane in real life is not for me!

Q5) Do you think you'll write something similar in the future? Another story about women overcoming obstacles and proving themselves? 

GCK: I've got another one out to editors right now! It's about the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, which was the women's branch of the US Army during World War II. There are still so many untold stories about women's accomplishments.

Bonus: What book are you currently reading?

GCK: I'm currently reading Devils Unto Dust by Emma Berquist. 


  1. Replies
    1. Do you like historical fiction, Mary? I'm trying to remember if I've seen something on your blog! :)

  2. I'm not into historical fiction but liked this mini Q&A. I love getting into the minds of authors like this. Thanks for sharing, Lindsi. x

    1. I don't read historical fiction very often, but I'm so happy I took a chance with this one! It was an incredible read, which is why I asked the author for a short interview. I was curious about her thought process. :)

  3. I used to love historical fiction but it's been a very long time since I've read any. I've never heard of the night witches but I'll be googling now! They sound fascinating. Thanks for sharing this interview Lindsi. :)

    1. This book was the first time I'd heard about the Night Witches, and I spent a lot of time Googling them afterwards! I love that the author based her story on real people, because they did amazing things for their country and for women everywhere. They proved themselves to be valuable assets, and capable of holding their own during a war.


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― Marissa Meyer, Heartless