L. M. Elliott and Liz Wiley discuss WALLS, new YA historical fiction
L. M. Elliott and Elizabeth Wiley will discuss Laura's new YA historical fiction novel, WALLS. Elizabeth narrates the audio version of WALLS. Director Megan Behm will moderate this lively conversation between about story-telling and creating character, sharing an interesting look at a different side of the book industry. Megan also created the photo essay for WALLS.
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Drew is an army brat, a hotshot athlete poised to be his high school’s star pitcher, when he has to move for the sixth time in fifteen years—this time to West Berlin, where American soldiers like his dad hold an outpost of democracy against communist Russia in Hitler’s former capital. Meanwhile, in East Berlin, his cousin Matthias has grown up in the wreckage left by Allied bombing during World War II, on streets ruled by the Communist Party’s secret police.
From the opposing sides of the Cold War, Drew and Matthias begin to overcome the many ideological walls between them to become wary friends. They argue over the space race, capitalism, socialism, and even the American civil rights movement, and bond over rock ’n’ roll—music outlawed in Matthias’s part of the city. If Matthias is caught by the Stasi’s neighborhood spies with the records or books Drew has given him, he will be sent to a work camp for “re-education.” At the same time, Drew’s friendship with the East Berlin Jugend—who ardently spout communist dogma—raises suspicions about his family’s loyalty to America. As the political situation around them gets all the more dire, Drew and Matthias’s loyalty—to their sector, their countries, their families, and each other—will be tested in ways that will change their lives forever.
Set in the tumultuous year leading up to the surprise overnight raising of the Berlin Wall in August 1961, and punctuated with real-life photographs, headlines, and personalities of the time, Walls brings to vivid life the heroic and tragic choices of the Cold War.
L.M. Elliott was an award-winning magazine journalist in Washington, D.C., before becoming a New York Times bestselling author of historical and biographical young adult novels. Her works include Under a War-Torn Sky, Suspect Red, and Hamilton and Peggy.
Elizabeth Wiley is a seasoned actor, director, theatre professor and voice actor, who has found her greatest passion in audiobook narration, where she has earned a number of awards and nominations. She has over 135 titles in a wide range of genres, favorite genres include Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, and Biography/Memoir. Born and raised in Minnesota, with short stints in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Mississippi, she currently lives in historic Williamsburg, Virginia where she records in her home studio.
Megan Behm is a theatre director, arts administrator, and intimacy director based in the Washington, D.C. area.
Order the audio book, Annie and the Wolves, narrated by Elizabeth Wiley.