Dear readers, tonight with me is the child of a holocaust survivor. She is here to tell us about life in both the USA and Israel, and about how horrible things that should have been buried in the past refuse to stay dead.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am the daughter of a Holocaust survivor who grew up in America. My identity became meshed into hers as I was deeply affected by her experiences, some of which are manifested in The Masada Faktor. Eventually I became Mother’s caregiver until her death.
Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?
Favorite toys? That would imply that I had fun as a child? Hmmm. I remember toy guns being my favorites to play with. I fought Nazis with my little brother in war games.
What do you do now?
I follow my gut looking for clues to a mystery that Mother left me with. A mystery with deadly consequences for Israel. I live with past, present, and future adventures that seem to control me in an odd way. I am a writer in the book.
What can you tell us about your latest adventure?
The mystery of The Masada Faktor had taken me to Israel. The case was left for me after Mother’s death and not only is it a hard trail, certain personal issues have arisen that are forcing me to look inside myself. Was I really affected by Mother’s experiences in World War II? Why is it up to me to save Israel? What did I do to deserve this? Well, I am a Jewess and I have a responsibility to fulfill. So I accepted that and got on with it.
What did you first think when you were contacted by someone that was related to a Nazi that your mother knew in Auschwitz?
It was shocking to realize that a nefarious plot had been put in place before the end of World War II and that it involved future generations. I thought it was fantasy, an exaggeration and part of Mother’s prolific story telling. I didn’t want to believe that the continuation of killing Jews in mass numbers was afoot. I was angry.
What was the scariest thing in your adventures?
The scariest thing in The Masada Faktor adventure is the realization that the end of World War II did not end villainous people seeking the ending of the Jewish people and the destruction of Israel. Adding to that were dangerous physical altercations that could have been fatal had I not possessed a black belt in karate and a keen intuition.
What is the worst thing about living in the USA? What is the best thing about living in Israel?
The worst thing about living in America is being asked, “Are you Jewish?” because it always carries with it a curiosity, as if I am different. In Israel it goes without saying. In Israel, being understood for who you are is a great thing. I love both countries, I am a dual citizen. Loyal to both. But in Israel, I am part of something greater than myself. It is a big family. Lots of support and feeling of belonging. The worst thing is a fear that arises in me after being there for several months at a time; that was ingrained in me by Mother, “They” want me dead. And I must do something to help. That is the bad but good because it gives me a purpose to my life.
Who are your friends?
I have real world friends and I have on-line friends. Some can be trusted, some cannot. I am leery as to who is who. That is a scary thing. The lines blur in friendships. I want to trust them but I must keep one eye opened at all times. I think that my author is my best friend, and I am hers. I am not sure this is healthy. As I said, the lines blur. In the sequel you will learn more about this.
Any romantic involvement?
Whom (or what) do you really hate?
I hate that the antagonists in The Masada Faktor were programmed by their parents and grandparents to continue the hate and violence against my people. I hate that my job must continue to fight this. I hate that I am not a superhero. I don’t want to hate. I want to love. But my enemies will not allow it. Oh, one more thing; I hate that I am lonely.
What’s your favourite drink, and relaxing pastime?
The beach is my favorite place and I like to walk for hours. That is how I think the best and work things out. In moderation I like tequila, Jack Daniels, Arak and I.P.A. beer and an occasional joint of Indica marijuana. Mostly I like my solitude and being on the move. Sex is nice when I can get it.
What does the future hold for you?
I have returned to the United States and without delay, find myself in another predicament. The same villains, some returned from the dead are revisiting me. I am moving, on the road, on the run. I have changed. When I returned to USA after the Gaza War, I needed help with personal issues that surfaced during The Masada Faktor. In seeking that help, I soon realized I was being used as a tool. I don’t like that. Sometimes I am a vengeful person. I have no personal responsibilities to anyone except myself, with Mother gone. That can prove to be dangerous for me…. and for my enemies. All will be revealed when my author finishes the sequel to The Masada Faktor. She doesn’t know the title yet. But coming soon!
Can you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?
NO! If I share a secret with you it won’t be a secret anymore. But let me say this, my age has never been revealed. There has been some arrested development which worked in my favor as far as not being as jaded as I could be. You laugh? You think, How could anyone not be more negative and still have the sense of humor that Natasha Bernard has? With luck and good family genes I will keep this secret for as long as I can.
Naomi Litvin, a free-lance writer and author of three books is a dual citizen of Israel and the United States. She grew up in Michigan and lived in Northern California for many years. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Administration of Justice, Magna cum Laude from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Naomi was a participant in the Jewish Book Council’s Meet The Author Program for 2009 – 2010. Naomi splits her time between Tel Aviv and San Francisco.
You can find Natasha on the pages of The Masada Faktor.
Join us next week to hear from a military officer in a dystopian world, standing up to the radical elements. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right) to be notified when the next interview is posted.