Tuesday, March 29, 2011

TLC Blog Tour-A Fierce Radiance Q & A with Lauren Belfer

I want to first welcome Lauren Belfer as my guest today.  I am really thrilled to be a part of the TLC Blog Tour promoting the paperback release of "A Fierce Radiance."

I read "A Fierce Radiance" (see my review)when it was first published last year.  I also named it one of my top pics for 2010 with high praise.  I was fascinated by the story then and I feel honored to have Lauren Belfer, a talented writer,  as a guest on Bookworm's Dinner today.  There is no doubt in my mind if you are a fan of historical fiction, and history, this book is one for your TBR pile!

As an added bonus, I have one copy of A Fierce Radiance to giveaway to residents in US or Canada. See rules below.  I hope you enjoy this book and enjoy the Ms. Belfer's guest post below. 

The Inspiration for “A Fierce Radiance

Lauren Belfer

The Inspiration for “A Fierce Radiance”

"“A Fierce Radiance,” just out in paperback, centers on the secret development of penicillin during the Second World War. I realize that this description makes the book sound like an espionage techno-thriller, but in fact it’s a family story, and it was inspired by a heartbreaking incident within my own family.
For all the years that I knew her, my elderly aunt kept on her bureau a photograph of her brother taken during the 1920s, when he was ten or eleven years old. In the picture, he’s a tow-headed boy sitting with his dad in a rowboat on a creek, both of them laughing.
This was the last photo my aunt had of her brother, because he died from a fast-moving infection on July 4th of his eleventh year. His doctors could do nothing to save his life. Antibiotics didn’t exist.
Decades later, my aunt still talked about her brother. She still mourned him. She told me that the light seemed to go out of her mother’s eyes after he died, and she grew up in a home filled with sadness.
When I shared this tragic story with friends, they often told me that they’d had similar experiences in their own families--grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents, siblings, who died far too young because antibiotics didn’t exist. I was struck by the change that antibiotics had brought to all our lives. A few generations ago, antibiotics didn’t exist, but nowadays, we take these medications for granted, so much so that scientists worry that overuse has led to widespread resistance. Within a few decades, scientists fear, antibiotics will no longer work.
Caught between these two eras – before antibiotics, and possibly after – I felt compelled to write a novel about the moment in time when these life-saving medications were first developed. I wanted to explore how these medications changed our expectations about our children and our families, about life itself.
And so I created a fictional family through which to tell this deeply personal story: Claire Shipley, a single mother as well as a photographer for Life Magazine; her daughter, Emily, who died at age three from a blood infection contracted from a scratch on the knee; Claire’s son, Charlie, age eight, vulnerable to the everyday, sometimes fatal illnesses of childhood; her father, long estranged from her, an astute businessman who quickly foresees the profits to be made from penicillin and similar drugs and James Stanton, a physician-researcher, who falls in love with Claire.
Around this nucleus, I conjured up a wide cast of characters to help me portray America at war, as well as the science and business of antibiotics. But I never let myself lose track of the personal story – the heartbreaking family story – which was my inspiration from the beginning."~Lauren Belfer

Book Giveaway Rules:

Contest ends April 23, 2011 and is open to US and Canadian residents.

To be entered in this giveaway you must:
1. Leave a comment about today's guest post, or comments about the book if you have read it. 
2. Be a follower of Bookworm's Dinner
3. Leave your encrypted email address with your comment.

Additional chances if you.....
4. Tweet about this giveaway....add another chance.
5. Facebook post or Blog post...add another chance.

Thank you to TLC Tours and the publisher for offering this book giveaway!

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2008-2011]. 


Abhishek Duggal said...

I'm an old follower via GFC!

I'm a fan of historical fiction, and history, this book sounds like it is definitely one for my TBR pile!

Thanks for the opportunity!

forsurveysonly at gmail dot com

Vivien said...

I was allergic to penicillin as a baby. Thankfully that has gone away. However, I do think this novel sounds really promising. I love period fiction.

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Sandra K321 said...

Interesting that the inspiration for the book was an incident from her own family's life. I enjoy historical fiction and this sounds like a winner.

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine how horrible life must have been before the advent of modern medicine. My son definitely wouldn't be alive, that's for sure (he has a variety of medical issues).

I'm really looking forward to this book - I love stories about disease and medicine.

Ann Summerville said...

This sounds like a great read - I'll put it on my list.

Janice said...

My senses smell that this is another awesome book. Too bad that I can't join. Well, good luck to all joiners.

nfmgirl said...

Such an intriguing concept for a story! Please count me in.

I follow.

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

nfmgirl said...


nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com