A few weeks ago, Rebecca at Love at First Book, emailed me about 3rd Generation and Beyond book tour. She gave me the rundown of the info, told me she understood if I was busy, and said to let her know. At first, I did think about saying “no”- I was busy, I had family things happening, and I just didn’t know if I could really fit 1 more thing in my schedule. Before I replied, I took a look at the information of this book- and while it’s not my “normal” type of read- I felt that I needed to read this.
After reading, I understood why Rebecca wanted to host this book blog tour. This is a book that makes the reader think- it’s not heavy-handed, though, it’s advice, it’s stories, it’s about ways to be the best person you can be- not just for you; but for the people you impact, the legacy you leave behind. 3rd Generation and Beyond inspires and motivates. While appropriate for high schoolers, possibly even junior high- I think this should be in every incoming freshman’s “Welcome to college” packet.
Interview with Danna Pycher:
1. Danna, do you consider yourself a role model for women? Or a role model for both men and women?
I’ve always tried to be a person that other’s respected. A role model is an interesting concept that I never truly thought about because I always felt like you had to be older to be a role model. Since the question is posed, then yes I do feel as if I’m a role model and aspire to be an example to kids and people across the board. I’ve been by told young adults since I began speaking at schools that they look up to me. I never really wanted to be a role model, yet I do aspire to make my voice heard on topics that matter. I believe in that respect I am a role model. I wouldn’t say to men or women specifically.
2. How long did it take you to write 3rd Generation and Beyond?
5 long years! The process was very off and on, mostly off. I was very intimidated by this project. I was so compelled to get these messages out, yet was overwhelmed by the idea of taking on the Holocaust as the underlying theme especially since I was never there and could never claim to know what it was like. I don’t attempt that in the book though. Once I got over my own fears of writing the book it finished rather quickly.
3. With 3rd Generation and Beyond being different from a fiction book- do you find yourself having a writing routine that is different than from a fiction writer’s routine?
I don’t have a specific routine down yet other than the environment having to be right. The only formula I learned to use is less editing more writing. I begin with words from the heart and then allow my brain to kick in and do all the corrections.
4. Some authors have a writing room, do you have room or special place where writing takes place?
I wrote the majority of 3rd Generation and Beyond in a café up the street from my apartment. Although, I’m not a typical coffee drinker the coffee at this place put me in the right mindset to have a good writing flow. I also need to be very distracted in order to write. I could NEVER write in a library. This café had a movie playing behind me, music playing above me, and books galore all around me. If I ever wanted a break from writing I would just pick up another book to read!
5. Danna- you write that the inspiration for 3rd Generation and Beyond came in part during 12 hours you spent in Germany. Did you ever have second thoughts about writing as time went on? Did you face any particular obstacles in writing?
Second thoughts? More like utter resignation. I faced many challenges writing this book. The initial idea was full of zest and urgency and then the thought of actually writing a BOOK set in. I never aspired to be an author so much as I meant to get the messages that were burning in my head out into the world.
I was very intimidated both by intending to write literature surrounding the Holocaust and just by the idea of putting myself out there. Then there is also the doubt many writers and artists go through which is the question: Is this work important or worthy?
Once I had the confidence to know that the book was more than worthy and important it was necessary, the writing became easier.
Also, going through a near fatal car accident changed my perspective. No longer did a life dream to write a book remain in the abstract as an idea. I got a second lease on life – not to mention a lot of time on my hands rehabbing – which gave me the idea of you only live once and it was of the utmost importance to fulfill this dream.
6. Some of the “life lessons’ you title each chapter with can be found in many advice/self help books. As I’m reading, though, the lessons of the advice are different. The lessons have a deeper, richer feel to them. Does this have to do with your history? Do you think when we hear advice or a lesson that it helps to have a personal connection to the advice? A story, a tale, instead of a “school of thought” or “scientific reason” for the life lesson?
Thank you. Many of the lessons are universal and you have most likely come across some of them before. The depth does come from the stories. It brings the philosophies to life.
My history, for better or for worse, comes from a people who were tortured and persecuted and SURVIVED. Survived to see another day and held that day and every day from that day forward with such grace and gratitude. There was a richness in who these people were because of their scarred and dynamic history.
I’m a descendant of people who in my mind are heroes. Imagine trying to live up to that! The way I do that is to impart who they were and try to inspire others to act heroically even if it’s in small ways every day.
7. What is the most important thing you wish readers would take away from reading 3rd Generation and Beyond?
The most important chapter is the Resistance chapter. It is so important to not be silent if something is going wrong. That is the most pressing message I want to get out there.
Interested in knowing more about Danna Pycher? Here’s some links:
You can also follow Danna on Twitter- @bythistime is her Twitter ID.
**Twitter chat with Danna Pycher and other folks about 3rd Generation and Beyond, May 22 at 7pm(EST) using the hashtag #3GAB.