Like Downton Abbey but set on a Caribbean island. At the height of the Great War in 1916, Abigail Maduro is a young and naive island girl living with her spinster aunt in a ramshackle old mansion in the Danish West Indies when she stumbles upon a mysterious foreigner (Erich Seibold) who desperately asks her for help. Abigail is immediately catapulted to the center of the conflict when she hides Erich in the basement of her house, and learns that he is a deserter from a German U-boat. Despite their different backgrounds, they grow in friendship and love. However, their lovely island interlude is interrupted when the island's German Consul, Lothar Langsdorff, discovers Erich's presence on the island and his status as a deserter and blackmails him into serving the fatherland by committing sabotage and murder. When Erich is locked up in Fort Christian for being a German spy, Abigail must choose between her former safe life and her future happiness. But as long as Langsdorff and his men are on the loose, Abby must save this fading old sugar colony from an imminent German invasion.
Interview with the Author
- Sophie Schiller
Hi Sophie! Welcome to the blog!
When did you first start writing?
I started writing in 2005. At the time, my intention was to sharpen my intellectual skills, so I started out by writing letters to the editor of the Wall Street Journal on issues that struck a chord with me. I would spend hours polishing and editing a letter to perfection. People may not realize how difficult it is to draft a persuasive argument! Eventually, I got three letters published. Three years later, in 2008, I started working on "Transfer Day".
Can you tell us a bit about ‘Transfer Day’ and your Inspiration for it?
"Transfer Day" was born from a promise I made as a child to write about the island where I grew up, and to bring the old days back to life, if only in the pages of a novel. The novel takes place on the Caribbean island of St. Thomas in 1916, at the height of the Great War. It's the story of Abigail Maduro, an orphan living with her abusive aunt in a ramshackle old house in the economically-depressed town of Charlotte Amalie. In the novel, Abigail progresses from a frightened young girl caught up life's turmoil, to a capable young lady who can cope with life's problems and turn a a hopeless situation and an uncertain future into a springboard for growth and success. Her adventure starts when she accidentally stumbles upon a mysterious stranger (Erich Seibold) who asks her for help. Abby hides Erich in the basement of her aunt's house and is shocke to learn that Erich is a deserter from a German U-boat. Despite their differences, Abby and Erich grow in friendship and love, but their quiet interlude is interrupted when the island's German Consul, Lothar Langsdorff (a German spy) discovers Erich's presence and uses his deserter status to blackmail him into committing sabotage and murder. When Erich is imprisoned, Abigail must choose between her safety and her happiness. In the end, Abby must summon her courage to save her fading old sugar colony from an imminent German invasion, and Erich from certain death.
What three words would you use to best describe Transfer Day?
Exotic, adventurous, and intriguing.
Can you tell us a bit about Abigail Maduro, the main character in Transfer day?
Abby is bottled potential. She's smart, funny, inquisitive, charming, yet rendered penniless and futureless by the untimely death of her parents, when she's forced to work as a seamstress by her bitter, abusive aunt.
Is ‘Transfer day’ a standalone novel or will this be part of a series?Transfer Day is a standalone novel. Reading it will give you a complete, fulfilling story. However, I have tentative plans to continue the journey of a minor character who only appears only in the first 10% of the novel: Ian McShane, a witty Irish sailor who first lights up Abigail's imagination with terrifying stories about German spies and saboters.
Can you tell us what you’re working on now?
I'm working on a novel about Tibet. It's based on a true story about three 19th century explorers, one French, one Russian, and one English, who are competing to be the first living European to reach Lhasa, the elusive capital of Tibet. Only one of them will succeed, but he will be haunted by it for the rest of his life.
Other than your own, what are your favourite books?
My favorite childhood book was "The Cay", about a boy and an old man marooned on a desert island. I also loved "Exodus", "QBVII", "The Key to Rebecca", "The Eye of the Needle" and "Kim".
What’s your favourite treat?
Meeting someone with similar interests.If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
In Abigail's house in Charlotte Amalie! With Nana Jane, Cooky Betty, and old Mr. Isaiah, the carriage driver!
Please visit Transfer Day on Facebook to see locations in the novel, pictures of characters, scenes from the novel, and beautiful artwork from that period. Please also "Like" Transfer Day for a chance to win a bottle of St. John's bay rum or cologne:
Thanks so much to Sophie for stopping by the blog and answering my questions ☺
Be sure to 'Like' Sophies facebook page for your chance to win a bottle of St. John's bay rum or cologne!