“Is this your first day?”

An unexpected pleasure of publishing a book is connecting with old friends. When I was 14 (see image, left, long hair) we moved perhaps 15 miles away to another New Jersey bedroom community. Fifteen miles might as well be another country in HighSchoolLand and there I sat, quite alone in my silly green gym clothes as the PE teacher explained Rules & Regulations and I’m thinking that the rule at Watchung Hills Regional High School was that nobody would ever talk to me. When we were lining up for leg lifts or laps around the gym, Ellen Weiss (below, short hair) scooted over and said the words that every new kid longs to hear, body and soul: “Is this your first day? Do you want to sit with me in the cafeteria?” That kind of welcome gets you through a lot of dark teenage days. In a couple weeks I’ll be going to Maryland to share my book with Ellen’s book group. It will be great. And we don’t have to wear silly gym clothes with our names embroidered over the pocket.

Pamela Schoenewaldt, historical novels of immigration and the search for self in new worlds: WHEN WE WERE STRANGERS, SWIMMING IN THE MOON, and UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY (all HarperCollins).

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Workshop on Point of View for the Knoxville Writers Guild, Sat. Feb. 18, 2017, 10am to noon

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Recent Review
“Absorbing and layered with rich historical details, in Under the Same Blue Sky, Schoenewaldt weaves a tender and at times, heartbreaking story about German-Americans during World War I. With remarkable compassion, the author skillfully portrays conflicted loyalties, the search for belonging, the cruelty of war, and the resilience of the human spirit.”—Ann Weisgarber, author of The Promise and The Personal History of Rachel Dupree

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