These are my grandparents, Emma and Arturs. They were the inspiration for the main characters in my novel, SONG OF LATVIA. Many of the things in the novel happened to them. Many others did not. But almost everything happened to someone in Latvia during World War II.
My grandparents, along with my mother and her brother, fled Latvia on foot toward the end of WW II and wound up in Germany in a displaced persons camp. That’s where my mother met my father and where I was born. We all came to the USA when I was three. I grew up hearing many stories about the war and eventually those stories coalesced into a desire to write a novel about the collective experience of the country. So my two main characters, although based on my grandparent’s personalities, are fictional. Some of the towns in the novel are also fictional. They are composite towns. Using fictional characters and towns helped me tell the story of many rather than a few.