This book took about five years to write and revise working on it on and off from the time I got the idea living in Freiburg, Germany during the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. But the story has really been more than 25 years in the making since a trip I took through East Germany to West Berlin as a student back in 1988. I will never forget that surreal experience of stopping near the border between East and West and having our passports checked, while outside the guards, accompanied by German Shepherds were poking mirrors mounted on long poles under the train looking for people who might be clinging to the undercarriage to escape. Although that scene made such an impression on me, it didn't make it into the book in the interests of keeping the protagonist's story as authentic as possible. She escapes East Germany as a child in the trunk of a Trabant, and I have to thank a visit to the Spy Museum in Washington, DC for that. On display there is a cut-out of the East German make of car showing how many bodies could be hidden inside it.
Home Sweet Stranger is now available for pre-order at Amazon.