Browsing all posts in: Poles Apart

Exciting News and a Great Giveaway!

April 3

Exciting News! Poles Apart is now available for Kindle on Amazon! You can now read Poles Apart on any e-book format.

To celebrate the Kindle release I’m offering a free digital copy of Frieda’s Favorites, the cookbook companion to Poles Apart, with any purchase of this award-winning novel during the month of April – that’s any purchase at all, in print or any e-format. All you have to do is make your purchase and email me the receipt at audrey@audreyrlwyatt.com. I will then send you the PDF with her yummy recipes.

To tempt your tastebuds, here’s a list of the recipes that Frieda included, in her own inimitable style:

Blintzes

Challah

Borscht

Chicken Soup

Knaiydleach (matzo balls)

Chopped Liver

Gefilte Fish

Kasha Varnishkes

Kreplach

Noodle Kugel

Brisket

Chicken Paprikash

Coconut Bars

Mandelbröt

Charoses

Potato Latkes

 

Here’s how to order print or Kindle from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Poles-Apart-Audrey-RL-Wyatt/dp/144999489X/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1364933111&sr=8-6&keywords=poles+apart

Here’s how to order an e-book in another format: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/27202

If you prefer purchase at your local indie bookstore just scan and email that receipt. No one will be left out of the celebration!

Please forward this email widely – the more the merrier!

And if you feel like writing a review, I thank you in advance.

Just Had to Share!

October 1

A while back a kind writer/reviewer named Barbara Snow reviewed Poles Apart on the Neworld Review book site. I’ve posted links to the review around the social media universe but just realized that I have been remiss in posting it here. So I’m doing my website one better, I’m posting the review itself as a blog post. I hope you enjoy Barbara’s review as much as I have.

Feel free to check out Neworld Review at www.neworldreview.com. Barbara is a regular reviewer there.

Poles Apart

LitSisters Publishing | Phoenix

Reviewed by Barbara Snow

A good story shows us people struggling to change, to make life better. It makes us care about them enough to forget that we’re reading a story and inspires us to changes of our own. The characters in Poles Apart are lovable in their humanness and forgivable in their fears and confusion, particularly since the patterns with which they struggle result from some of the most horrendous experiences possible.

Chaim Schlessel spent nearly half of his formative teen years in Auschwitz and lost his family there. He committed to living his life fully and joyfully as the only way to make sure the oppressors failed in their attempt to destroy him and his people. Unfortunately his refusal to speak of the past created a void for his son David, who when confronted with the atrocities that obliterated his family, had no way to comprehend or integrate such history.

This is a story about the damage to good people when truth is feared and fear deepens the darkness inside. It is a delightful snapshot into the dynamics of a modern Jewish family living in a typical mid-western city—Cleveland, OH. It is also a testament to the ability of loving family (whether it’s the one you were born into or one you chose) to heal the wounds of the past and support the freedom to be authentic.

While Poles Apart is a pleasurable read, it does not dodge the horrors that are part of our collective history. The memories of horrors that are meted out in tolerable measure still cause the stomach to clench and the body to shiver. Wyatt does an admirable job, particularly since she writes based on personal knowledge. It is appropriate and necessary to hold the human potential for destruction in consciousness. Americans are not exempt. The holocausts in this country began with the extermination of 19 million Native Americans and continued with blacks, and any others who become “demonized” by the perceived ruling class. Adolph Hitler actually stated that he used the model of the U.S. Government’s treatment of Native Americans in his design for the concentration camps.

This book does not try for the kind of distance that addresses the mass manipulation of citizens by their government. It is close to home and heart—close to the places where you and I, live with a relative sense of security. It reminds us of the ripple effect that violence and degradation have on people, families and communities. It is time that we acknowledge that like the adult children of alcoholics, the adult children of survivors of any violence also carry scars in their psyche. Ultimately, this story of the Schlessel family reminds us that we do not remain victims unless we choose to. Chaim Schlessel demonstrates profoundly that who we struggle to be and how we live is ultimately the place of victory.

Save the Date for Your Free eBook!

April 19

MAY 2nd

Poles Apart e-book has been released!

Poles Apart, my award-winning novel, has been released in all digital formats. To celebrate its release, and to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day, I am offering free downloads in all formats on May 2nd, 2011. This free release is an important thank you to the holocaust survivors and organizations who gave generously of their time and resources during the research phase of my novel.

Please pass this notice on to everyone you know who would like a free e-book. If you like what you read, please recommend Poles Apart to others and feel free to review it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and GoodReads. If you prefer a hard copy you can also find it at those and other fine purveyors of books.

For your free copy of Poles Apart, click here.

Happy Reading!

(note: downloads only free on May 2nd – all other times downloads are regular price of $4.95)

Lots Going on This Autumn!

September 10

Thankfully, the heat of summer is beginning to abate. And as it does, life, with all its activity starts to ratchet up. So it goes with life in the Sonoran desert.

I want to take a moment, before I get to my news and wish all my Jewish readers Leshana Tovah! May the New Year be a happy and healthy one for you and your family.

Also, I’m sure you’ve noticed the cool new format of this missive. I’m working on spreading the word about Poles Apart and the classes I offer and have found a cool new way to do it. Please help me out by forwarding this newsletter to anyone you know who a) enjoys a good book (hey, all the reviews and awards can’t be wrong); and b) is interested in learning to write.

Here’s What’s Happening:

  • My appearance on Adoption Angles was great fun! Melissa, the host, made it a wonderful experience and we gave away two copies of Poles Apart! The winners are enjoying it as we speak! If adoption is a topic that interests you be sure to check out Adoption Angles.
  • I’m going to be featured as guest blogger on the site of author Mike Angley. For those of you who haven’t read Mike, he’s a retired Air Force Colonel and suspense author. The interview will be up on September 17th and you can find it here.
  • Yelp Phoenix has selected Poles Apart as their October read. If you’re a Yelper and are interested in participating, check out the event.
  • I’m very excited to tell you that I’ve been interviewed for a network of Australian papers! I guess I’m truly going global. Sylvia Massara, the author/journalist who conducted the interview, is syndicated in twenty-four online papers and is expanding to print. I’ll post the link as soon as the article is up. So stay tuned!
  • Due to numerous requests, I’m going to be making my highly regarded workshop, LifeStories – Memoir Writing available virtually. Plans are still in the works as to format but IT IS COMING! The workshop was well received by participants when I taught it in Boston and is equally well received here in the valley of the sun. If you know anyone who is interested in learning to write their memoir, please forward this newsletter to them. I’ll update everyone as more info is available.

I hope all is well with you as we move in to autumn. Even though I can’t enjoy the colors of the maples and oaks it’s still my favorite season. Feel free to send pictures my way if you should see a particularly good example of color. It’ll bring my eastern roots a little closer.

Meanwhile, take care. And let me know how you’re doing.

The Five Minute Diva

January 7

I keep threatening that when my book is published I’m going to become a real diva … for five minutes. I figure that’s as long as I’d be able to stand myself. But with publication imminent I’ve been trying to figure out how to do the diva thing and I’m lost.

When the first galley came and it was fraught with errors I thought that would be the perfect time to be a diva. I could stomp and scream about how these problems were screwing up my ego extravaganza. In fact, I was just gearing up, upon finding the sixth problem, when a colleague smiled and said, “you know we’ll laugh about this someday.” I protested that it was not that day. She agreed and suggested I wait. That was it. The moment was gone. I was successfully de-diva’d.

I’ve been thinking about my diva plan ever since. I’m trying to find a way to make it work but I’m having a lot of trouble. I mean,what better opportunity would there have been than when things were so screwed up. But as I wait for the new galley to arrive I can’t seem to muster up the ego. Maybe when the error-free galley is in my hands and I can announce the book to the world … but I doubt it.

The truth is I rarely focus on me, me, me – though as much as I’ve worked lately my family might disagree. I tend to focus on others, on mentoring – I’m big on karma. I know how incredibly lucky I am. I get to stay home with my kids, work on my dream and have a husband who supports me and applauds every success. Ditto my daughters. I’ve had amazing mentors and incredible colleagues who’ve made my way easier. Doesn’t seem right to lord it over everyone. Seems a better use of my time to be there for others.

As I drum my nails on the desk, willing the new galley to arrive, I still mull over my desire to be a five minute diva. I guess when it gets here I’ll see what I can come up with. Maybe if I got a pedestal and a tiara …

Frieda Cooks

December 28

(originally posted November 13, 2009)

In my novel, Poles Apart, Frieda cooks. A lot. Now this is in no way surprising because Frieda is Jewish and Jewish women cook. It’s required – in the DNA or something. And Jewish women are good cooks. Very good cooks. I’ve never actually heard of a bad Jewish cook. Oh, you hear of the occasional badly made dish… For example, I had an aunt whose matzo balls were so hard I heard they were licensed by the American League for  world series play. But I digress.

So Frieda cooks because her family needs to eat. But that’s just the beginning of why Frieda cooks. Frieda loves to cook and she knows that the mere mention of her cooking sets the mouths of those who know her to watering. She’s that good. People don’t even need to catch a whiff of the aroma. She loves that. But she also cooks because there is no Jewish culture without food. Food is used in religious ritual but it’s more than that. It’s about coming together around the table. No matter what else is happening in life, in the community or in the world, everyone has to eat and you might as well make it a celebration.

But my favorite reason that Frieda cooks is because Frieda loves. Deeply and completely. No matter what she’s up to, matchmaking, meddling in her family’s lives, or creating a feast, Frieda gives her love through the food she feeds them. And they feel the love in the eating. And that’s what really makes Frieda’s cooking so delicious.

Terri
November 15, 2009 at 9:50 pm

I agree! I can’t wait to taste some of Frieda’s love!

Christopher Moore Totally Gets Me

December 28

(originally posted October 2, 2009)

It’s funny, too, because he doesn’t actually know me.  But a while back he said, as I’ve mentioned before, “Being an Author is a complete cycle of “I’m a piece of crap/I’m the king of the universe” that oscillates on a minute-by-minute basis.”  So, like I said, he totally gets me.  That statement is an accurate description of my life these past few … well for a long time but especially these past few weeks.

When I started sending out queries in an attempt to secure representation I was completely logical about it – or as logical as I get, anyway.  I understand this business, I know how it works, my eyes are open to the reality of the process, blah, blah, blah.  The true reality is that impatience sets in quickly, which is a direct path to Christopher Moore’s prescient understanding of where I’d end up.

One of the first queries I sent was to an agent in the west that I respect.  She’s notoriously picky.  Within twenty-four hours she asked me for a partial (meaning a limited number of pages for you non-writers).  I was ecstatic, but still a realist.  I remember telling my husband that even if she doesn’t offer representation she has framed my entire experience more positively because my first response was good.  Yeah, that was two weeks ago.

Since then, I’ve received her rejection, two other rejections and one other request for a partial from an agent with a prestigious  New York firm.  Besides that, nothing.  Now, I understand the reality, which is that it’s way too soon to hear.  And I also understand that on the strength of a one page letter, half the initial responses have been positive, which is huge.  Doesn’t stop my minute by minute oscillations, though.  Doesn’t even slow them down.

Hopefully, I’ll find another quote, from another author who’s been where I am, that helps me keep things in perspective.  In the meantime, for any editors who happen upon this post, I offer this quote from Erle Stanley Gardner, “It’s a damn good story.  If you have any comments, write them on the back of a check.”

81,187 Words Later

December 28

(originally posted July 28, 2009)

The process of trying to shepard a novel through the sale/publication process is fascinating. But that’s an academic assessment made by someone who has never done it before. It’s also frustrating, agonizing, daunting, likely foolhardy and, hopefully, rewarding.

Christopher Moore once said, “Being an Author is a complete cycle of ‘I’m a piece of crap/I’m the king of the universe’ that oscillates on a minute-by-minute basis.” Nowhere is that sentiment more true then in this part of the process. The highs and lows come so quickly that your head becomes a spinning top, most closely resembling Linda Blair in The Exorcist. 81,187 words later, I find myself having no choice but to move past the manuscript and on to phase two: The Query.

In this stage I write a one page letter to an agent (they can occasionally be two but brevity is rewarded). An agent/author relationship is a funny thing; the agent works for you but you’d dance with the devil to get a good agent to let you hire them. But back to the letter. I have somewhere between a nano-second and five words to wow the agent, totally mesmerizing her or him into begging to read my entire novel before the sun sets that very day. Now, to put this in perspective, Kurt Vonegut was rejected more than 800 times before he was published. And he was Kurt Vonegut the entire time. How different would our cultural discourse be without him? I can’t even think about it. Hopefully, inspired by Kurt’s determination, I whip out a brilliant query letter. On to phase three: The Synopsis.

In the synopsis I get a full five pages (sometimes more, sometimes less) to tell the agent the entire plot of my novel — including the ending. That’s right, it’s like Cliff’s Notes for the time-challenged. Not only do I have to condence 448 pages down to five, but I have to be riveting, show the agent my writing style and the tone of the book and, oh yeah, it better be damn good. Every time I’ve ever accomplished this I’ve celebrated with a simulated wrist-slitting. Once that’s done it’s on to phase four: The Approach.

This is the part I’m looking most forward to. Here’s where I send my obviously pithy query (with or without my brilliantly riveting synopsis, as they command) to agent after agent after agent. These days many agents take e-queries, so that, at least, cuts down on the expense. But it certainly doesn’t save me from having minute pieces of my soul dug out of me with a dull spoon. I’ve been published so I’ve had rejection. Lots. Some have been complimentary. The worst told me to study craft and then compared me to Faulkner, Kipling and London. Go figure. I can’t wait to see what new forms of rejection I’ll receive. I’m thick-skinned so I can handle this process. Especially because at the end I know, I just know, beyond all doubt, that I’m going to get a letter offering representation. And then the craziness begins anew.

Audrey Wyatt, right-brained to a fault, has worked in various arts – most notably acting, teaching and creating children’s theater curricula. Now a fiction writer, she bases her novels, short stories and even a television sitcom on her experiences and culture. Her stories often feature strong-willed, quirky women. Audrey’s novel, Poles Apart, has been honored with five awards and her essays and short fiction have been published in various forums, both print and online.  For a full list of Audrey’s credits as well as links to her work, check out her Bibliography.

Always one to foster aspiring artists, Audrey founded Southeast Valley Fiction Writers near Phoenix, Arizona, and Bay State Writers in Southeast Massachusetts. She is a founding partner in LitSisters and LitSisters Publishing. She also created and teaches workshops on Creative Writing and Memoir Writing.

Audrey has enjoyed living all over the country, from the Pacific to the Atlantic.  She currently makes her home in Los Angeles with her incredible husband, their two terrific daughters, and their beagle-basset mix, the Artful Dodger.

To contact Audrey RL Wyatt, please email audrey@audreyrlwyatt.com

Awards, Accomplishments & Publications

Novel, Poles Apart, Third Place in Alabama Writer’s Conclave Annual Competition, 2009

Novel, Poles Apart, Honorable Mention in Frontiers in Writing Annual Contest, 2009

Humor, My Big Fat Hillbilly Wedding, published on You Tube by Folded Word Press in Shape of a Heart, 2009

Founder, Southeast Valley Fiction Writers, 2008

Essay, Inevitability of Time, published in Motherwords, Issue 3, 2008

Essay, Ticket to Ride, published by Survivor’s Review Volume XI, 2008

Fiction, The Box, published in Conceit Magazine, 2008

Novel, Poles Apart, Honorable Mention in the Ft. Bend Writer’s Guild 25th Annual Novel Contest, 2008

Essay, The Inevitability of Time, published in Conceit Magazine, 2008

Essay, Ticket to Ride, Honorable Mention in Write Helper, 2008

Essay, Inevitability of Time, can be seen in the anthology, Silver Boomers, published by Silver Boomer Books, 2008

Novel, Poles ApartSecond Place in The Sandy, Crested Butte Writers Conference Annual Contest, 2007

Essay, Dear Mothers, can be seen in the anthology, Letters To My Mother published by Adams Media, 2007

Fiction, The Box, published by Long Story Short, 2007

Humor, My Big Fat Hillbilly Wedding, published by Long Story Short, 2007

Novel, Poles Apart, Semi-Finalist in the international Summer Literary Seminars annual fiction contest, 2006

Founder, Bay State Writers, 2005

Cami Butler Memorial Writing Scholarship, Pikes Peak Writers Conference, 2004

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