The Lit Chick Corner is "Poles Apart"
By the way, “The Lit Chick Show” has been officially launched. This is a blog that is run as a virtual TV show, featuring video commentary on authors and their work.This week, LCC caught up with American author, Audrey RL Wyatt, and her novel Poles Apart.
“I’m very proud of my novel,” Wyatt told LCC. “It has been honoured with five awards and currently has five stars on Amazon and a 4.33 rating on GoodReads. The feedback has been very positive and very gratifying.”
LCC asked Wyatt for a rundown on the plot of her novel. “Poles Apart is a book about family, about secrets, and about the damage that secrets can do, even over generations. The story involves Chaim Schlessel, who lost his family to the Holocaust more than sixty years ago. He vowed to embrace life and protect his own wife and children from his painful memories and harrowing experiences. Finding solace in his family, his painting and the healing effects of his wife’s cooking, he has kept his nightmares at bay. But when a new neighbour unwittingly triggers the terrors of his past, Chaim is faced with the horrors that increasingly haunt his soul and threaten his sanity. David Schlessel, grown, married and successful, is plagued by the always taboo subject of his father’s suffering at the hands of the Nazis. As a second generation survivor, he struggles with his father’s unwillingness to discuss the past and his own inability to communicate with those he loves. With his marriage falling apart and his relationship with his own children deteriorating, David, after numerous false starts, ultimately vows to conquer his inner turmoil. United by a history they cannot discuss, yet starkly alone in their private struggles, father and son confront their demons as well as one another in a stand-off that will change them both forever.”
With such a deep and emotionally charged plot, LCC asked Wyatt whether her real life experience factored into the novel. “Well, Chaim is a Holocaust survivor and I grew up around a lot of Holocaust survivors. I heard horrific stories when I was far too young to understand them or put them into context. In fact, it’s interesting how differently we interpret information at different times in our lives. I found the holocaust stories more horrific as an adult than when I initially heard them as a child. As a child it was information without context. But as an adult I had so much more experience and understanding to apply to the information.”
Wyatt’s background, before attacking prose, was very creative. She exhibited photography in juried shows and worked in theatre; acting, teaching and creating children’s theater curricula. So it was surprising that her writing career began in the non-fiction realms of politics, environment and law. Finally, succumbing to her creative nature, Wyatt decided to write fiction. Her debut novel was Poles Apart.
Always one to foster aspiring artists, Wyatt founded Southeast Valley Fiction Writers, near Phoenix, Arizona, and Bay State Writers in Southeast Massachusetts. She gives a good deal of time to area schools and also teaches Memoir Writing to seniors. She is a partner in LitSisters Publishing, a boutique house publishing women writers, as well as a founding member of LitSisters, a networking and support community for writers.
So what’s next for Wyatt? “I’ve just started a new novel called Women’s Work. It’s about four women, life-long friends, who recreate their graduation road trip on its twentieth anniversary. Their lives are now complicated, their baggage much heavier. They have secrets – demons they need to exorcise.” Wyatt added, “I also have another project in the works called Happy Trails. I originally wrote it as a sitcom treatment and have plans to novelize it.”For more information on her writing, visit Wyatt’s website: www.audreyrlwyatt.com. Aussie readers will also find retailers who carry Wyatt’s book in Australia at: www.abebooks.com.