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Brothers Path by Martha Kennedy: Tour
By award winning author, Martha Kennedy.
The world-shattering tumult of the Protestant Reformation enters the Schneebeli household when Rudolf Schneebeli is born two months early and dies a few minutes later without being baptized. Named for the well trodden track linking the Schneebeli farmhouse to the old Lunkhofen castle, The Brothers Path is set in a Swiss village near Zürich, between 1524 and 1531. It chronicles the lives of the six Schneebeli brothers, Heinrich, Hannes, Peter, Conrad, Thomann and Andreas. Each brother navigates his own path through, around or directly into the deadly drama of the Protestant reformation.
Two hundred years after the events recounted in The Brothers’ Path, thousands of immigrants, mostly Mennonites and Amish, left Switzerland for America looking for safety and freedom they could not find at home. If the novel teaches a “lesson” it would be a reminder why immigrants to America were adamant about separating church and state.
Interview with the Author
What initially got you interested in writing?
The stories my parents read to me when I was a very small child interested me in writing. I know this because I started writing before I could read. I scribbled “stories,” and my dad would “read” what I wrote. He must have made up good ones because I have always seen myself as a writer.
How did you decide to make the move into being a published author?
There is, for me, a distinction between private and public writing. I have a huge “white elephant” in the form of more than forty journals, beautiful books, filled with my words, other peoples’ words, pictures, and keepsakes that I will never share. I don’t even, myself, want to open them! That’s private writing.
With everything I have published, — short stories, articles, blog posts, novels, even poetry — the difference happens when I believe I have written something that could be meaningful to others.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
After reading one of my historical novels, I hope my readers end up with a deeper respect for those who lived long-ago, seeing them as real people, not fantastical archetypes from Hollywood or us in funny clothes.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
Writing is the most rewarding thing about writing. Second to that is when someone comes to me with my book and tells me they loved it. Writing is magical and completing the circle with a reader is magical.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Sometimes I really hate what my research is showing me. That was a challenge in writing The Brothers Path. Some of the historical figures at the time were truly awful people (in my subjective appraisal). I don’t want my subjective appraisal to enter into my story, so when that happens, I back off and do something else until I can get some balance.
What advice would you give to people want to enter the field?
My advice for would-be writers is, “Don’t do it if you don’t have to. Writing might not be what you think it is.”
What ways can readers connect with you?
Readers can connect with me on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/martha.kennedy.historical.fiction/
I’m also on Goodreads.
Praise for Savior by Martha Kennedy
“When I started reading Savior, I expected a straightforward, action-filled story of the Crusades. And while this book is that, it is so much more. It’s also a journey of self-discovery, a story of spiritual awakening, and a tale of the power of love and family.
I highly recommend Savior for readers of historical fiction. In addition, those who appreciate a story of self-discovery will enjoy this book immensely.”- Teressa Morris, Window On the World
“Savior is a great mix of deeply motivated characters and careful historical research. As a result, the story pulls the setting and the people together in a way that drives them right into your consciousness. We are there in the thirteenth century listening to the stirring crusader songs in the background as two brothers sign up. We see what compels each one to march off to battle.
This is a marvelous story that pulls you into the heart of the crusade and knocks you around until you understand that holy war is not so holy.”- Linda Hill Spencer, Amazon Reviewer
B.R.A.G.Medallion Winner -IndieBrag
Praise for Martin of Gfenn by Martha Kennedy
“Kennedy invests this grim story with a great deal of pathos and a surprising amount of resigned optimism; her characters are richly textured, none more so than Martin himself, who gropes toward self-knowledge and a kind of acceptance even as his nightmarishly worsening physical condition makes it harder and harder for him to exercise his artistic talent. The research behind Martin of Gfenn, both sociological and biological, is evident, but the novel’s true genius lies in its insight into the fragile nature of hope itself. An outstanding work, highly recommended..
Editor’s Choice Award”- Historical Novel Society, Indie Novel Review
B.R.A.G.Medallion Winner -IndieBrag
About Martha Kennedy
Martha Kennedy has published three works of historical fiction. Her first novel, Martin of Gfenn, which tells the story of a young fresco painter living in 13th century Zürich, was awarded the Editor’s Choice by the Historical Novel Society Indie Review and the BRAG Medallion from IndieBRAG in 2015.
Her second novel, Savior, also an BRAG Medallion Honoree (2016), tells the story of a young man in the 13th century who fights depression by going on Crusade. Her newest novel, The Brothers Path, a loose sequel to Savior, looks at the same family three hundred years later as they find their way through the Protestant Reformation.
Kennedy has also published many short-stories and articles in a variety of publications from the Denver Post to the Business Communications Quarterly.
Kennedy was born in Denver, Colorado and earned her undergraduate degree in American Literature from University of Colorado, Boulder and her graduate degree in American Literature from the University of Denver. She has taught college and university writing at all levels, business communication, literature and English as a Second Language.
For many years she lived in the San Diego area, most recently in Descanso, a small town in the Cuyamaca Mountains. She has recently returned to Colorado to live in Monte Vista in the San Luis Valley.
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