Night of Flames – Author Interview – Douglas W. Jacobson

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Night of Flames

A World War II history enthusiast, engineer, business owner and author Douglas W. Jacobson, joins us today at Paperback Writer. Doug is author of the historical fiction novel, Night of Flames: A Novel of World War Two.

About the Book: In 1939 the Germans invade Poland, setting off a rising storm of violence and destruction. For Anna and Jan Kopernik the loss is unimaginable. She is an assistant professor at a university in Krakow; he, an officer in the Polish cavalry. Separated by war, they must find their own way in a world where everything they ever knew is gone.

Anna’s father, a prominent intellectual, is deported to a death camp, and Anna must flee to Belgium where she joins the Resistance. Meanwhile, Jan escapes with the battered remnants of the Polish army to Britain. When British intelligence asks him to return to Poland in an undercover mission to contact the Resistance, he seizes the opportunity to search for his missing wife.

Through the long night of Nazi occupation, Anna, Jan, and ordinary people across Europe fight a covert war of sabotage and resistance against the overwhelming might of the German war machine. The struggle seems hopeless, but they are determined to take back what is theirs.

Hi Doug,

Welcome to Paperback Writer

PBW: Will you share with us how you came up with the idea for this book?

I have always been interested in WW2 history. When my daughter married a young man from Belgium and move there, we started traveling tom Europe several times a year. We became very close friends with our Belgian in-laws who were children during the German occupation of Belgium. There personal accounts of those times were my inspiration to write Night of Flames.

PBW: Do you plan your stories first with an outline or does it come to you as write it?

I start out with a rough outline (mostly in my head) and then keep changing it as I write. As the characters begin to come alive the story flows along with them.

PBW: Do you know the end of the story at the beginning?

Yes. Although how I get there changes many times while I’m writing.

PBW: Do you have a process for developing your characters?

I usually know what type of person I want for a particular character, especially the major ones. But I find as I write their personality just evolves. Sometimes the characters turn out quite different than I had imagined at the beginning.

PBW: It is said that authors write themselves into their characters. Is there any part of you in your characters and what they would be?

I’m not sure I would be the best judge of that. I would hope most of my characters are far more interesting people than I am.

PBW: What is your most favorite part about this book?
I have several favorite parts but they all have to do with my two main characters becoming involved in covert resistance organizations.

PBW: When in the process of writing your book did you begin to look for a publisher?

I waited until I was finished with the last draft.

PBW: What struggles have you had on the road to being published?
I of course received numerous rejections from both literary agents and publishers before finally connecting with my publisher.

PBW: What has been the best part about being published?

I love talking with interested readers about the book and about the historical events that make up the framework of my story. I enjoy meeting people who, like me, are interested in the heroic actions of the common people who were caught up in this enormous conflict.

PBW: What do you want readers to remember and carry with them after reading your novel?

I want them to remember the quote that I used in the front of the book, which I believe says in a few eloquent words what Night of Flames is all about. The quote is from the legendary French Field Marshal of WW1, Ferdinand Foch, who said, “The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.”

PBW: Do you have plans to write another book?

I am currently finishing up a second historical novel set in Europe during WW2. This story deals with one of the most notorious war crimes in history.

PBW: Would you care to share with us how the virtual book tour experience with Pump Up Your Book Promotion has been for you?

The tour began on September 1st, but so, far I have found Dorothy Thompson to be wonderful to work with She is very thorough, well organized and very creative.

PBW: Where can readers find a copy of your book?

On-line at Amazon and Barnes and Noble and anywhere books are sold. They can also contact the publisher direct at

PBW: Do you have a website for readers to go to?

Yes I do. They can visit me at

Thank you, Doug for sharing your book and characters with us today. It has been a pleasure and I hope you have had a successful virtual book tour.

Thank you. It was my pleasure.

About the Author:
His debut novel, Night of Flames: A Novel of World War Two was published in 2007 by McBooks Press, and was released in paperback in 2008. Night of Flames won the 2007 OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD from the Wisconsin Library Association. Doug has also published articles on Belgium’s WW2 escape organization, the Comete Line; Poland’s 1st Armored Division; and the liberation of Antwerp. Doug has just completed his second novel set in Europe at the end of WW2. You can visit his blog at

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