Tricia Goyer is a celebrated writer, speaker, and co-host of the Daily Bible Podcast. Author of 80 books, Tricia has won four Golden Scrolls, two Carol Awards, and a Christian Book Award. In addition to Christy Awards and Gold Medallion nominations, her book sales exceed 4 million copies. Tricia is a highly sought-after conference speaker, sharing on writing, parenting, and purposeful living.

Nathan Goyer is an upstart designer and science fiction author, who has been writing since he was young. He has written the novel Bask: City of Shadows and solo-developed the mobile RPG game Heedless, which has surpassed 30,000 downloads. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Arkansas Little Rock, he is now pushing forward with new endeavors, starting with his newest novel.

In this interview, they discuss  their latest book, Breath of Bones.

FF: What inspired the story in your book?
The idea for this book came to me while I was cleaning. Since my daughter is a missionary in the Czech Republic, we’ve been to Prague many times, and I have a bookshelf with dozens of books about that city. As I was sweeping near that shelf, the spine of a book about the Golem caught my eye. As the author of dozens of novels set in World War Two, I thought, “Why not mix the Jewish legend of the Golem with WWII—the protector of old being resurrected to help the fight against their German occupiers?” I shared the idea with my son, Nathan, who loved it.

Nathan writes fantasy and science fiction, while I love weaving true history into my books. Together, we aimed to write a story about resistance and survival during the war but with a twist, so we created Breath of Bones. Writing a book with one of my sons was special because it combined our interests in folklore and history with steampunk (which is a world filled with steam-powered machines) and alternative history. Working on Breath of Bones brought us closer and let us blend interesting steampunk fantasy elements with real historical events.

FF: What can you tell us about the main characters in your book?
In Breath of Bones, Katerina a determined reporter searching for a compelling story to gain her father’s approval. Soon, she finds herself drawn into a world of ancient legends and wartime resistance. Her quest leads her to Josef, the grandson of a renowned Jewish rabbi burdened with the weight of protecting his people amidst the chaos of German occupation.

As Katerina delves deeper into her investigation, she uncovers the long-forgotten Jewish legend of the Golem—a mythical creature created to safeguard the Jews of Prague from oppression. Intrigued by the parallels between the legend and the harrowing realities of war, Katerina realizes that there is more to Josef’s story than meets the eye.

Meanwhile, Josef grapples with his family’s legacy and the responsibility that comes with it. As the grandson of a revered rabbi, he feels a profound duty to protect his community from harm. When Katerina crosses his path, Josef is initially hesitant to trust her, fearing that her inquiries may jeopardize the safety of those he holds dear. However, as they join forces to uncover the truth behind the legend of the Golem, Katerina and Josef form an unlikely alliance forged in the crucible of wartime adversity. Together, they embark on a perilous journey to unearth the secrets of the past and confront the looming threat of the present.

As they delve deeper into the mysteries surrounding the Golem, Katerina and Josef discover that their fates are intertwined, and together they summon all their courage and resilience to confront the forces of darkness that threaten to engulf them.

FF:Which character surprised you the most?
Definitely the villainous Persephone. She was a brainchild born from both mine and Tricia’s joined ideas, and she became a fascinating villain as the story progressed. As not to spoil anything, she is a more influential character than she might seem early on in the story.

FF:Why do you think storytelling is such a powerful way to share truth?
Storytelling relates truths in a way that simply explaining things cannot by showing the actual applications and potential consequences of actions and choices. I think storytelling is the most important way to share knowledge and truth. After all, it is the exact way Jesus taught, which was through parables!

FF: What can readers expect from the rest of this series?
In addition to more accurate historical information, readers can expect the series to dive even deeper into the mystical side. Not everything can be explained away with gears and bolts, as you’ll already see in “Breath of Bones,” but future books will take this aspect to the next level.

FF: What kind of research did you do for this book?
For research, we kept numerous elements of history as close to actual events as possible, which meant reading many research books and watching documentaries. It’s also helpful that my son-in-law is Czech, and he was able to look up more information for us. The goal was to weave a story around the amazing true events. The assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, one of the chief architects of the Holocaust, is a pivotal event in World War II history. Heydrich’s ruthless implementation of Nazi policies earned him the nickname “The Butcher of Prague.” In May 1942, Czechoslovakian resistance fighters carried out Operation Anthropoid, a daring mission to assassinate Heydrich in Prague.

In Breath of Bones, we incorporated this historical event into the narrative to provide context and depth to the story. The assassination is a backdrop for the characters’ struggles and adds urgency to their quest. Katerina, driven by her journalistic instincts, seeks to uncover the truth behind Heydrich’s death, while Josef grapples with the moral implications of his actions as a resistance fighter.

By weaving historical events like the assassination of Heydrich into the fabric of the story, we aimed to create a compelling and immersive reading experience. Through meticulous research and attention to detail, we sought to capture the essence of this period in history and shed light on the courage and resilience of those who dared to defy tyranny.

Breath of Bones
The Clockwork Chronicles Series #1
Tricia Goyer & Nathan Goyer
Enclave Publishing
Genres: Historical, WWII Fiction
Release Date: June 18, 2024

ISBN-13: ‎979-8886051261

Book Summary:
When darkness falls, a new guardian emerges.

Kateřina Dubová has always aspired to walk in her father’s footsteps as a respected journalist, and the Second World War presents a unique opportunity for her to prove her worth to the world. A tip about an assassination attempt on a high-ranking Nazi official, Reinhard Heydrich, the “Butcher of Prague” leads Kateřina into the shadows of the Nazi occupation. Soon she discovers things are not as they seem.

As intrigue unfurls, Kateřina joins forces with Josef Loew, a descendant of the famous Rabbi Loew, renowned for creating a mystical guardian in the form of a golem to protect the souls of 16th-century Jews in Prague. In the chaos of war, some believe a new golem can once again bring help to those in need.

Like flickering candles in the abyss, Kateřina and Josef work to protect the innocent and end the evil that plagues their world. Yet, in their quest to save the Jewish people, have they inadvertently created a new danger? Could the very entity they had forged to protect become their greatest enemy?


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About The Author

The author of 25 books, Tricia Goyer won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored as Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. In her novels, Tricia writes contemporary and historical stories that feature strong women overcoming great challenges. She recreates historic wartime eras with precise detail through comprehensive research.