The hardest part was the fact that EVERYTHING had to be researched. Clothing, weather, historical events, particulars of the war, the culture, the language, the violin, Angelo's birth defect, prosthetics, the Catholic religion, the Jewish religion, a day in the life of a priest . . . you get where I'm going right? It was endless.
How long did it take you to write From Sand and Ash? Did you have to put it down some days to give your brain a breather or did you write it consistently every day?
I began my research first, just combing through a lot of different sources trying to pinpoint where I would focus. Once I had a window of time in the war where I could set my story, I had to get more and more detailed in my research. The research continued as I wrote the book. I didn't know, for instance about the Battle of the Bulge timeline (Bastogne). I stumbled across the fact that Bastogne happened in exactly the time frame I needed it to. Little miracles. But there were always difficulties and the research sometimes derailed where I thought I was going to go with the story or what I wanted to do. Even researching the routes to get to specific camps, etc. was tedious. All in all, I suppose this book took me about six months of pretty intense work to write. That doesn't count edits after the publisher received it, etc. Sure. I had to take breaks and step away. But usually, once I really get rolling on a project, I stick with it until it's done. I'm a firm believer that once you stop, it's really hard to get started again.