Interview & Giveaway: The Girl I Left Behind by Andie Newton

Dear readers, do I have a treat for you today! Author Andie Newton is here to talk about her new historical, The Girl I Left Behind! We also have a chance for you to win a copy so be sure to enter our giveaway at the end of this post.

Hello Andie and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about The Girl I Left Behind!

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your writing?

I live in Washington State with my husband and two boys. I started writing in 2009. By the time I’d landed my first publishing contract (with Aria Fiction in the UK) I’d written four novels. I write fast-paced female-driven WWII fiction. (I have a Bachelor degree in History, so I have a hard time getting my head out of the past.) I’ve also written a few middle-grade ghost stories set near where I live—currently up for grabs, publishers!

What inspired you to write The Girl I Left Behind?

Many years ago, I caught a History Channel program about life inside Nazi Germany. Now, I’ve seen a hundred shows about this subject, but this show in particular talked about the youth resistance, which I knew little about. I searched for a novel on the subject and couldn’t find one. As corny as it sounds, I set out to write the novel I wanted to read. It is important to note that my first pages and drafts were really bad (bordering awful.) I just kept at it. I’d get some advice or learn a new technique and apply that to my writing. Writing The Girl I Left Behind was a process that spanned years, for sure, with lots of deleted chapters and characters.

What research did you undertake when writing The Girl I Left Behind?

I read a lot. I read diaries, interviews and news articles about resistance members. I also contacted businesses in Germany and asked questions about their past. Yep. I did that too! One of the most interesting stories that came from these emails involved the Korn und Berg bookstore in Nuremberg. They wrote me a long email relaying a story about when Hitler came into their bookstore and demanded they change the shape of their windows because they weren’t modern enough. Oh, you better believe I wrote that into this book!

What was your favorite scene to write?

My favorite scene to write was the tea scene with Ella’s aunt and her Nazi friends. There’s so much going on here than just a group of gossiping women. I’d read that Hermann Göring’s family was elevated in status after his career in the Reich took off, so I wrote that into the scene with one of the ladies. Also, well… I don’t want to give anything away, but when Ella offers to serve her aunt’s guests…ooh, I love it!

What was the most difficult scene to write?

The most difficult scene to write was also one of the most satisfying. The ending. I love the ending of this novel. Love. However, there are many different ways I could have chosen to end it, and I imagined them all. War is messy. War is unresolved in the hearts and minds of those who lived through it. War is unpredictable. So, in this respect the ending was hard to write, but also very easy and satisfying. Even now, and I’ve read my book thousands of times, the ending takes my breath away. I’ve read in reviews that readers are having the same reaction and love the ending, so I know I’ve done my job as a writer and as a historian.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I also have a Master in Teaching. One day while substituting 5th grade, I noticed a student lost in a book, like totally absorbed in the pages, and I felt joy for the writer at having this reader captivated by the story. It was during this moment I realized my heart was with my characters, and all those books on my hard drive.

What does your daily writing routine look like?

I am the worst with routines. Anyone who has a rigid routine and sticks to it is my hero.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?

Having patience. And no, I haven’t been able to overcome it. The publishing business moves at a glacier pace. Then out of the blue it goes very fast. It took years for me to write, find an agent (I’ve had more than one), go on sub, write some more, go on sub, write some more. Waiting is the name of the game; even when your book sells there’s still a lot of waiting before it is actually out to the world.

Who are your writing inspirations?

Any writer who can plot out a novel and write it in 10 weeks or less. These same people will usually post photos of their very organized writing wall, complete with Post-Its. If you are one of these writers, hats off to you!

What is the last historical novel you read?

Christmas Once Again by Jina Bacarr, which was so fun to read; it’s a time-slip novel set in the 1940’s that reads like a classic holiday movie. Loved it.

What are three things people may not know about you?

I am a trail runner. I’ve ran two 50 mile races and one 30 mile. My favorite movie is Braveheart. My favorite band is The Joy Formidable (and all 80’s pop, old school alternative like Nirvana, Radiohead, The Breeders, Throwing Muses and Belly, which dates me for sure!) But I also listen to a lot of classical, especially when writing. I have a very interesting playlist.

What historical time period do you gravitate towards the most with your personal reading?

Definitely WWII. Like to read it, love to write it. But sometimes I need to take a break, especially if I’ve been writing a lot. This is when I reach for the funny stuff.

I just got done reading Fiona Leitch’s hilarious new self-published novel Dead in Venice—about a crime writer novelist with writer’s block who always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I literally started laughing in the first few pages, which is a hard thing for a writer to accomplish.

I also like loveable romcoms like Nina Kaye’s debut The Gin Lover’s Guide to Dating, and books that throw me into a setting, like Sandy Barker’s One Summer in Santorini. (Any book that has me looking up airfare to Santorini, or anywhere for that matter, has my heart!)

Lastly, what are you working on next?

My next novel comes out this summer! THE GIRL FROM VICHY is about a politically divided family living in the Free Zone (run by the puppet Vichy government headed by Philippe Petain), and one woman’s brave attempt to spy on her collaborator boyfriend in the Vichy police. There’s not many novels set in Vichy, and it’s such an intriguing part of the war and an interesting component to France’s occupation. My third book, to be released in 2021 by Aria, is still a work in progress, but I can tell you it’s a very fast paced WWII female-driven spy novel involving American women, and I absolutely love it.

Oh wow, I cannot wait for that! I loved The Girl I Left Behind so much! Thank you for being here with us today!

The Girl I Left Behind by Andie Newton

Publication Date: October 3, 2019
Aria Fiction
eBook & Paperback; 368 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

What would you risk to save our best-friend?

As a young girl, Ella never considered that those around her weren’t as they appeared. But when her childhood best-friend shows Ella that you can’t always believe what you see, Ella finds herself thrown into the world of the German Resistance.

On a dark night in 1941, Claudia is taken by the Gestapo, likely never to be seen again, unless Ella can save her. With the help of the man she loves, Ella must undertake her most dangerous mission yet and infiltrate the Nazi Party.

Selling secrets isn’t an easy job. In order to find Claudia, Ella must risk not only her life, but the lives of those she cares about.

Will Ella be able to leave behind the girl of her youth and step into the shoes of another?

Perfect for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The German Midwife and Kate Furnivall.

Available on Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Apple iBooks | Kobo

Praise for The Girl I Left Behind

‘A gripping historical page-turner about an audacious eighteen-year-old girl in Nazi Germany, who finds herself at the heart of the Reich. It’s a thrilling tale of female friendship, young love, and extraordinary courage, laced with chilling reminders of the fate Ella will face if her treachery is discovered. A powerful debut!’ Gill Paul, USA Today bestselling author of The Secret Wife.

‘A captivating story with a twist of romance threaded throughout,’ Glynis Peters, USA Today bestselling author of The Secret Orphan.

‘A compelling tale of friendship, courage and espionage in a frightening and uncertain world,’ Charlotte Betts, author of The Dressmaker’s Secret.

‘The Girl I Left Behind made me cry and left me wanting more, which to me are signs of a truly wonderful book, one that will stay with me long after I’ve finished reading,’ Lana Kortchik, author of The Story of Us.

About the Author

Andie is an American writer living in Washington State with her husband and two boys. She writes female-driven WWII historical fiction. Her debut novel, THE GIRL I LEFT BEHIND, was published by Aria Fiction in October 2019. THE GIRL FROM VICHY, her second novel with Aria Fiction, will be released in July 2020 with a third untitled novel due to release in 2021. She has a Bachelor’s degree in History from Washington State University and a Master in Teaching. She would love to say she spends her free time gardening and cooking, but she’s killed everything she’s ever planted and set off more fire alarms than she cares to admit. Andie does, however, love spending time with her family, trail running, traveling the world, and drinking copious amounts of coffee.

Andie would love to be a guest at your next book club! You can find discussion questions for her novels on her website You can also find Andie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, BookBub, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 2
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, December 5
Review at Passages to the Past

Sunday, December 8
Review at Robin Loves Reading

Monday, December 9
Review at Bookish Bellee

Tuesday, December 10
Feature at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, December 11
Interview at Passages to the Past

Thursday, December 12
Review at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Sunday, December 15
Feature at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Monday, December 16
Review at Lost_in_a_book_reviewer

Wednesday, December 18
Review at The Lit Bitch

Friday, December 20
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Saturday, December 21
Review at Reading is My Remedy


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback back copy of The Girl I Left Behind! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on December 21st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

The Girl I Left Behind


  1. Thank you for posting this interview, Amy!

  2. Terrific interview, and I greatly appreciate the mention, Andie. I just loved this book.


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