Friday, July 15, 2011

Publishing, Passages and the Process

Hi  everyone! I am in the throes of editing my manuscript for The Last Daughter of Prussia. Deadlines are coming up with the publisher and so you can imagine that I am busy with edits, but also very excited. The process is an interesting one. 

I know this book inside out. However, now when I return to it after having left it alone for a few months, I still find things to add to enhance a characters emotional experience and at the same time there are words I must take away to make the sentence more meaningful. It really is a line by line process, time consuming to say the least, but hopefully this final honing will give the book its clarity and shine.

The garden temple situated on my grandparents estate by the Angerapp River in East Prussia
What a place that would have been to write and edit a novel!
(c) Photo Gottlieb Property-Familienbesitz Gottlieb

  In these past months while I have been away from the book, I have spent time thinking about what to write in my blog. I always want to give you, my reader, insights into that era during WW2 when East Prussia was evacuated and believe me there are many I still want to share with you. However, I'm feeling the dilemma of time - there never seems to be enough of it in a day, yet I want to stay in touch with you.  

So... I have decided to share little passages from the book while I'm editing as naturally these pieces are already written. I sincerely hope that the excerpts and photos I post will peak your interest and entice you to read the the novel when it is published. 

My grandfather, Baron Walter von Sanden
I have taken the liberty of loosely basing the baron in The Last Daughter on his character.
My grandfather was good man, kind, compassionate and close to nature in spirit.
He wrote many books about East Prussia. I often feel him with me when I write.
(c) Photo Gottlieb Family
 Short Excerpt from The Last Daughter of Prussia:
The baron’s upper lip ticked.
  “Just yesterday a Nazi official from Angerburg came to see me,” he hissed. “One of governor, Erich Koch’s underlings.” He dropped his voice to a whisper and glanced into the garden, making sure no one could hear. “I told him we must begin transporting our people to safety.” He pointed out over the railing,  frenzy darting in his eyes. “I asked him why our women and children have been prohibited from leaving for the west when the Russians are right on our doorstep. They won’t think twice about killing young children. They’ll shoot our horses. They’ll eat them.”
  “What did he say?” asked Manya.
  “He screamed at me. Warned me never to question the Führer. I’ve never encountered such fanaticism. He told me that if I attempt to take my family and flee East Prussia, I’ll be considered a traitor to the German Reich, and we’ll all be shot.”
  “You can’t listen to him,” Manya insisted. “Winter is coming. We must leave before the cold sets in. Blacksmith Helling says it’s going to be a harsh winter. If we don’t leave soon, we’ll never get out in time!”

Forester Hellwig who cared for the forest on my grandparents' estate in
Guja, East Prussia.I feel him with me too when I write.
It's as if he tells me about the forest, the herds of elk that swam in the rivers
 and the birds that serenaded the sky .
 (c) Photo Gottlieb Family

East Prussia in early autumn before my family and my characters fled.
(c) Photo Gottlieb Property

East Prussia in winter. This is what the house in Guja looked like when they left.
They knew they would never see it again.
(c) Gottlieb Property

Thank you for taking the time. I'll be back with more soon.
– Marina Gottlieb Sarles

c) All content and photos are the private property of the Gottlieb family, unless otherwise stated or linked,  and may not be used without permission.
(c) Privatbesitz Gottlieb Familie


  1. Brilliant—there will be a long line to get this book when it's ready—happy editing! xx

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