Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sharon Potts

Sharon Potts is the award-winning, critically acclaimed author of five psychological thrillers, winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award, and recipient of a starred review in Publishers Weekly. A former CPA, corporate executive, and entrepreneur, Potts has served as treasurer of the national board of Mystery Writers of America, as well as president of that organization’s Florida chapter. She has also co-chaired SleuthFest, a national writers’ conference.

Her new novel is The Other Traitor.

Recently I asked Potts about what she was reading. Her reply:
I occasionally joke that there’s more truth in fiction than in newspapers and history books. Which is why I love reading novels, particularly historical fiction that presents an unconventional view of people we’ve been raised to see only in black-and-white. But are they really simply villains or heroes as we’ve been taught to believe?

Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel, All the Light We Cannot See is set in France during World War II, and much of it takes place in the walled port city of Saint-Malo. Doerr does a remarkable job of portraying a young German soldier in a nuanced and sympathetic manner. Werner is caught in the midst of a devastating war machine. He is part of a small group of German soldiers whose job is to track down and destroy Resistance fighters. And yet this young man, fighting on the side of evil, is anything but. Rather than succumb to stereotypes and political correctness, Doerr has created a very human, complex character faced with unthinkable options.

I visited Saint-Malo recently. The city has been so completely rebuilt that it’s hard to imagine the devastation that took place during the war. But the smells of the ocean air and baking bread, and the feel of the narrow cobble-stone streets beneath my feet, described so intimately by Marie-Laure, the blind fourteen-year-old heroine, took me back seventy years. And I thought about Marie-Laure and Werner, two young people forced to deal with choices of someone else’s making. And it helped me remember that in war, it isn’t about villains and heroes. There are victims on all sides.
Visit Sharon Potts' website.

--Marshal Zeringue