Blog Tour; Red Wolves and White Knights by Peter Kysel
February 11, 2021
Red Wolves and White Knights by Peter Kysel
Today I am on the Blog Tour for Red Wolves and White Knights by Peter Kysel and I am here with an interview for you all.
Before I share that though, here’s some information on the book.
Title: Red Wolves and White Knights Author: Peter Kysel Publisher: Clink Street Publishing Published: 28th January 2021 Format: Paperback Source: N/A Summary: In Central and Eastern Europe, half of all Europeans had their lives transformed by the democratic revolutions that took place in the last decade of the 20th Century.
This book is an authentic record of the period, based on the author’s experiences. It is a gripping insider’s account of how the protagonists transformed European society.
It is partly a historical novel, partly a ‘roman a clef’, in which real life is overlaid with a facade of fiction. It differs from other novels of this genre in that real names have often been retained, thus enabling the reader to understand the historical context and to follow the development of the story over the last thirty years.
The main characters are two professionals, who, hidden from public view, delivered historic changes. The novel follows their efforts to steer two countries towards becoming more just and prosperous. It is an account of the moral challenges and dangers, including intimidation, threats and attacks on their lives. Neither of the two main characters are entirely who they are perceived to be. The English Banker is a Czech refugee, whilst the English Accountant is a claimant to the Russian imperial crown. Without people like them, half the societies of Europe would have remained as decaying swamps, and the integration of Europe might never have been accomplished.
What is your favourite thing about writing books? I love a story telling and passing on observations, about people in the stories, to others
Who is your favourite character in your book and why? Michael Johnson who must cover his family history to succeed in his professional and personal lives.
What is your favourite drink to consume while writing? My favourite drink, to celebrate important points in writing is French 75 cocktail. It’s a mix of gin, champagne and lemon juice.
Do you have any bad habits while you’re writing? Not enough discipline. I am easily diverted to research some interesting aspect of the story
How did you research your book? My own diaries, conversations with the participants. Some of them became the characters in the book. I am fortunate to speak several relevant languages and can cross-check my stories from multiple sources.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? Plotter
If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose and why? King Arthur’s Round Table. I love to discuss and to implement decisions. I admire principal and moral people even if they seem unworldly.
If you could befriend any fictional character, who would you choose and why? James Bond. Get things done, be on the right side of history and enjoy the job.
About the Author
Peter was born in occupied Czechoslovakia towards the end of WW2. When he was ten months old, his aunt Irena took him on a train journey, to escape the impending uprising against the German occupation of Prague. The train was bombed by the Americans, but they both escaped unhurt. Peter’s parents, who were employed as a tailor and a seamstress, remained in Prague.
Immediately after the war the parents, in their mid-twenties set up their fashion business. They were successful and were able to give Peter a better start in life than they had themselves. Initially the communist coup d’etat in February 1948 had a little impact on the family’s life. When a young Peter was indoctrinated at school into a convinced socialist, ready to lay down his life for the red flag of his pioneer group, this began to change. His parents realised that they were powerless to intervene.
In contrast, in his teenage years, after his mother remarried, Peter was marked for discrimination and harassment. At 13 years old, he was labelled “an enemy of the State”, despite his personal commitment to socialism. His crime was to have a father who was a successful and creative designer. Peter was barred from the education that his grades had earned him. At 16, a careless joke led to his arrest by the State Security.
Peter could not eliminate the negative political label bequeathed to him by his father. He was going to carry the sign of an “undesirable” for life. At 18 Peter was sent for a yearlong “re-education” by manual labour.
In the summer 1968, during a short window of political relaxation, Peter took the opportunity to travel to the UK, and while he was abroad, the Warsaw Pact invaded Czechoslovakia. His fate was sealed when the hard-line regime of collaborators was installed in Prague, giving him no option but to apply for political asylum.
Peter began a new life by washing dishes in a hotel, before becoming a student at Oxford, where he met his partner and future wife. They moved to London and had a daughter. Peter found jobs in the private sector, while his wife worked as a educational researcher in the public sector.
After the collapse of communism in Europe Peter published articles about the market economy, appeared in media and worked as a consultant in several post-communist countries. He formed and managed one the first investment funds for the post-communist countries. In 1993 the British government sent him to assist in the privatisation process in the Czech Republic and in the creation of its financial market. When the privatisation task was completed, and companies were publicly traded on the stock exchange, he returned to his family and another investment job in London.
His wife died, after a 36 years long partnership, in 2006. A year later Peter gave up a permanent job and in August 2009 his daughter married. She was the catalyst in Peter’s decision of becoming a writer.
Peter was formerly a director and chairman of charitable organisations, including InterChange Trust, The Hamden Trust and WAP Performing Arts College and the British Czech and Slovak Association, and is a trustee of the Friends of Czech Heritage.