Interview with author M B Zucker


Welcome Readers to another installment of our author interview series. Today we have the pleasure of chatting with Michael, author of two historical fiction books.

JMR-Welcome to the Books Delight, Michael. Tell our readers where you live, what you do for fun and what does the perfect day look like?

MZ- Thank you for having me. I live with my family in Northern Virginia. My favorite hobbies are reading, watching movies, walking the dog (Maggie), and going out to dinner with my wife. My perfect day would be to spend several hours writing, then go for a long walk with Maggie, have dinner and watch a show or movie with my wife, and then read before bed.

JMR-What’s your favorite historical time period? Why?

MZ- My favorite period is the 1940s and 1950s. I view World War II and the early nuclear era as the most dangerous period in world history and so this period is more dramatic than most. WWII was my entry point into history when I was 15 and so it has a special resonance for me.

JMR-Who is your favorite historical figure? Why? If you could ask them one question, what would it be?

MZ- Dwight Eisenhower is my favorite since I think he was the most important person to navigating the dangers of the 1940s and 1950s. I would ask him his opinion on military interventions for humanitarian purposes. He had deeper foreign policy judgment that almost anyone and I think his thoughts on that issue could be enlightening, particularly since he both spent his presidency avoiding war but also witnessed the Nazi camps in 1945.

JMR- How did you come to be a writer of historical fiction?

MZ- My interest in history grew out of my interest in stories. WWII mapped onto adventures like Spider-Man and Star Wars when I was 15 as good battled evil. Those interests, storytelling and history, then merged and birthed my interest in historical fiction. Saving Private Ryan was the first film that showed me what the genre can do.

JMR- We are all affected by the highs and lows in our lives. How has your lived life informed your writing?

MZ- The stresses of writing precipitated a period of depression when I was in high school. Since then, I’ve kept an eye on how my emotions fluctuate and how my subconscious instincts influence my thoughts. I have tried to portray this relationship within each of my novels and often design protagonists’ arcs around it.

JMR- Did you visit anyone of the places in your book? Where did you feel closest to your characters?

MZ- Since I live in Northern Virginia and give tours at the Eisenhower Memorial on the National Mall, I’ve spent plenty of time in the DC area, which is the main setting for the novel. I’ve travelled down several of the streets Adams does and I’d visited Boston and the Adams family’s Braintree estate when I was a teenager.

JMR- Michael, tell us about your book, The Middle Generation: A Novel of John Quincy Adams and the Monroe Doctrine.

MZ- It’s a novel about John Quincy Adams when he was Secretary of State. Historians rank him as our best Secretary of State but even history buffs seem to know little about the challenges he confronted in that office. His main challenge was opposing Europe, which sought to prevent South America’s independence from the Spanish Empire. Adams waged a diplomatic chess match against Prince Metternich, the Austrian diplomat who masterminded Napoleon’s defeat and the Congress of Vienna. Subplots include the Missouri Crisis which triggered the rise of slavery as a major national issue, the controversial 1824 election against Andrew Jackson, and the pressure of being John and Abigail Adams’ eldest son.

JMR-What projects do you have in the pipeline?

MZ- I’ve just started researching what will likely be a pair of novels about Karl Haushofer, a German academic who shaped a lot of Nazi foreign policy and is considered Hitler’s mentor. I’ve always wanted to write about a villain protagonist and I think Haushofer will interest readers because he’s an important but little known player in the Third Reich and WWII.

JMR- Tell our readers how to find you on social media and the web.

MZ- I have an author website at that has links to my books, a blog, interviews I’ve done, and The Eisenhower Encyclopedia, which has everything I know about Ike.

My Twitter (X) account is @MichaelZucker1. I tweet about history and historical fiction almost every day.

JMR- What question were you hoping I’d ask but didn’t?

MZ- I’d like to mention that The Middle Generation has won three awards so far and all the reviews have commended the book’s character depth and dialogue, so readers who enjoy historical/political fiction with those elements will find a lot to like in my novel.

JMR- Thank you, Michael, for stopping by. Your books look really great! Readers, I’ve included a link to Michael’s book below. Please be sure to check it out.



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