Q – Avner Gold, you wrote a series of eight novels, historical fiction really, which captivated the Jewish world twenty years ago. This week you’re inaugurating a new ArtScroll series with the release of The Long Road to Freedom. Where’ve you been?
A – I’ve been busy with other projects but it was time to pick up where we left off.
Q – What’s the theme of The Long Road to Freedom?
A – It’s set in 17th century Spain. The story is about a young prisoner, Sebastian Dominguez, who’s awaiting his fate to be decided by the Inquisition. He’s the son of a hidden Jew – a Marrano prince really — who, some readers will recall, was burned at the stake, while the rest of the family went into exile in Paris. This is a fast moving story with well-developed characters. It’s filled with kings, rabbis, ministers, generals, bishops, even dwarfs – and some real serious villains. Though the storyline is fictional, it’s anchored in real historical events. The plot is exciting and the Jewish content and values are absorbing. Readers will likely become quite attached to the personalities and their adventures.
Q – Is there a sequel planned after The Long Road to Freedom?
A – Yes. I’m halfway through it now. It’s called Scandal in Amsterdam. The setting moves to the flourishing Jewish community in the capital of the Dutch Republic, where religious freedom and opportunity are no guarantees of safety and security.
Q – And beyond this there’s even more planned, yes?
A – Correct. The goal is to publish a new book every few months, eventually arriving at our own day. We’ll deal with a great many fascinating issues and lessons from Jewish history from the 17th to the 21st century.
Q –Why do you think your style of fiction has become so popular?
A – I put a great amount of effort into forming characters that evoke emotional responses while informing the mind. It’s a delicate balance. People tell me the personas are very credible. Readers say they actually feel what’s happened to our people through the historical settings in which the fictionalized plots unfold. Also, I take a subtle, discovery approach to the lessons that readers will derive from the plots, while carefully pacing the action to complement the story, not to overwhelm it.
Read an excerpt from The Long Road to Freedom HERE.