It’s almost time to release my new book, and I’m so excited to share Unspoken Words with you all.
After Last Words released back in October 2017, I felt a longing to reconnect with the characters I spent so long with. At that point, I found a great storyline within Annie Baylin, a sub-character from Last Words. The Other Blue Sky came to life last October (2018). Spending another several months with these characters did nothing but create an even larger desire to stick with them. However, I came to a place where I had to decide if I would take the leap and write the point-of-view from the enemy's side.
If you aren’t familiar with Last Words, the story revolves around a Jewish prisoner, Amelia Baylin, held captive in a concentration camp during the Holocaust and a Nazi, Charlie Crane, who wanted to run away from his position of power. The two found a friend in one another—a forbidden friendship that could have resulted in untimely deaths..
Charlie Crane, the soldier—Nazi and SS guard, raised through Hitler’s orders has a story much different from one of a typical Nazi.
I continuously paused at the end of that last statement because in my mind, a Nazi shouldn’t deserve a story worth being understood, never mind, heard.
As a Jewish woman, I grew up in the fear of hatred, antisemitism, and the simple case of being a minority with religion. I hid the truth and kept quiet through my school years. However, it wasn’t as big of a secret as I once preferred. Regardless of the times changing and improving (relatively speaking), there were times when a swastika was drawn on my school bus window, spray-painted on my driveway, and etched onto my school desk. These instances only added to my fear—a fear of being proud of who I am.
I have said many times throughout my writing journey that I enjoy writing what fears me the most. Those stories seem to evoke my deepest emotions, so I like to dig in that area.
A Nazi, though … the thought terrified me. How could I write about a Nazi and spin it in a positive direction?
The research was endless, and so were my questions. How did such a large population come to hate an entire religion? The answers were out there, and I found them: manipulation, propaganda, and unimaginable tactics that brainwashed many.
There were many Nazis who were against what they were forced to do. Just as the Jews were left without a choice, many Nazis were given threats that would leave them in the same life or death situation.
At a young age, Charlie Crane was left with the unthinkable decision to protect himself or an entire religion.
Through Unspoken Words, I provide insight on the internal battles Charlie ensued and how he became a man with the power to kill. When the dust settled, Charlie did not move along in his life in contentment. As most would assume, his life was destined for a darkness that I dug into, understanding and realizing thoughts of a manipulated man more than I may have originally planned.
Now, reading back on Unspoken Words I see how raw, dark, emotional, disturbing, and truthful the story came to be. In the mind of most, Charlie would not deserve a happy ending no matter how the story spun, but since I don’t like to end a book with sadness, I had one heck of a time creating a realistic portrayal of Charlie’s journey—one that he needed to endure to find his peace in the world.
My goal was to offer myself a better understanding of the “enemy” and though it pains me to understand how much hatred grew during the years of the holocaust, I now have a broader understanding of how life came to be.
I have poured my heart and soul into this taboo story, and I am counting the days down until October 16th when I can share my words with the world.