Another question I get asked a lot is, “Why did you write the book?” Good question. I had been long dreaming of writing something. I wasn’t sure just what that would be. I was a writer without a story. But one night as I lay in my bed ruminating on the subject of what I could possibly write about I was struck with the idea of Joe’s story. Here was a tremendous story right at my finger tips. I had inside information on this subject. Why on earth wasn’t I tapping into it?
For that matter why hadn’t Joe written his own story by now? Another good question.
Why hadn’t Joe written his story. I don’t know. I know he talked about it. A lot. I know other writers, shall we say more professional than yours truly, offered to help him write it. I sure heard that one enough. “Oh, so and so, who’s father is a Pulitzer prize winning author, really wanted to write Joe’s story with him.” Well. . . why hadn’t they? I will never know. I’m going to have to ask Joe these questions. I doubt I’ll get an answer, but maybe. Regardless, he didn’t do it. Knowing Joe he likes to think about a thing for a long time before acting on it. I’m only speculating on this, but maybe he was gearing up for it, but since there were so many aspects to his story he just didn’t know where to begin, or end. That is where I come in. I could look at it more objectively. I targeted in on what I wanted to hear or understand from Joe’s story and just went for it! In all my naiveté I plunged into the task at hand.
I really believed THE ALTERED I needed to be told. I couldn’t wait for Joe to do it, or any one else for that matter. This was my springboard to launch my writing career. I looked at it as my starter book, my practice book. I hoped I would do it justice but ultimately I gave everything I had to it. I needed to prove to myself and Joe that we could get this story told in a way that no other Holocaust memoir has been told.
THE ALTERED I is relevant for our times. We live in a world where love is seldom seen. There is a lot of selfishness, a lot of greed, and to be frank, a lot of people don’t stand up for what is right. Even if their conscience dictates otherwise. Young people especially need to fight tremendous peer pressure.
The dilemma is that people have different choices on how they face the same problem. What makes one group succeed while another seemingly fail? There were a group of people under duress in a similar way as Joe during the Nazi regime. They made different choices than he did and came out of the situation better, seemingly undamaged. While Joe made every choice based on his own immediate need. There was seldom a sacrifice for another person. It was always about his survival. Yet he came out damaged.
These are some of the issues THE ALTERED I touches on. Choices. Doing the right thing. Setting aside our own selfish inclination under hard times. What will you do? What will I do?
Read an excerpt here.