The Creation of In the Face of Evil
Sometimes I look at the first few pages of my novel, In the Face of Evil, and I am stunned. Did I really write this book? It is over two years since inception, yet the novelty of having given birth to a book is so new that like childbirth I have no problem remembering the labor pains. Naturally, like a doting parent I take great pride in my accomplishment. Having read countless memoirs from the Holocaust, I intentionally set out to create a different kind of Holocaust book. One that not only captured the actual events of my mother’s survival, but one that would also captivate the reader with the joyous world of pre-Nazi Poland and display the friendships and relationships that were developed even under the most dire of circumstances. Written as it occurs, I feel it envelopes the reader to the extent that they actually feel they are living the events. I wanted this book to interest teenage readers as well as adults and I look forward to hearing from some teen readers in order to bear this out.
Since this is my blog about my book, I think it is important to explain a little about the process of my creation. As with all memoirs, In the Face of Evil began with hours of taped interviews with my mother. With each question asked and answered, a whole fresh crop of questions would arise. Often my mother’s answers led to mysteries that had to be resolved in order to coalesce the actual historical events of the war and her memory. Memory did not always provide accuracy. It is interesting to note that people are often surprised that I call this book a novel. It doesn’t occur to them that I literally took threads of stories and wove them together into a tapestry. Because I wrote it in the first person they assume that these are my mother’s words verbatim from her lips. Undoubtedly, this is something that I am truly proud of. It is this unquestionable truth, without a moment’s suspension of belief that attracts the audience. It is the powerful tether that keeps the reader entranced and impelled to turn the page. As I see it, this is the author’s true occupation, to guarantee that the story once started must be read; I believe In the Face of Evil meets those criteria. The memoir became the novel and with the gentle prodding of my mother’s memory and without denying any of the historical truth, combined with hours of research, her past has been revealed as a story resplendent with color and emotion. I invite you to comment, feedback is so rewarding.