Join us for this tour from July 14 to Aug 10, 2020!Book Details:
Book Title: The Takeaway Men by Meryl Ain
Category: Adult fiction 18 yrs +, 264 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release date: August 4, 2020
Content Rating: PG-13 + M because there are references to extra-marital affairs. There is no explicit sex in the book.
With the cloud of the Holocaust still looming over them, twin sisters Bronka
and Johanna Lubinski and their parents arrive in the US from a
Displaced Persons Camp. In the years after World War II, they experience
the difficulties of adjusting to American culture as well as the
burgeoning fear of the Cold War. Years later, the discovery of a former
Nazi hiding in their community brings the Holocaust out of the shadows.
As the girls get older, they start to wonder about their parents’ pasts,
and they begin to demand answers. But it soon becomes clear that those
memories will be more difficult and painful to uncover than they could
have anticipated. Poignant and haunting, The Takeaway Men explores the
impact of immigration, identity, prejudice, secrets, and lies on parents
and children in mid-twentieth-century America.
Now Available for Pre-order!
Release date: August 4, 2020
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INTERVIEW WITH JODY @ I’M ALL ABOUT BOOKS
- You’ve written both fiction and non-fiction? What is the difference and do you have a preference?
Yes, The Takeaway Men is my first novel. It is historical fiction. But I co-authored a non-fiction book in 2014, The Living Memories Project: Legacies That Last and its companion workbook, My Living Memories Project Journal in 2016. Both historical fiction and non-fiction require extensive research. In the case of The Living Memories Project, we didn’t just write a book off the top of our heads. We interviewed more than 30 individuals – celebrities and others — about how they keep alive the memories of their loved ones in tangible ways. So, we first had to research whose story would be appropriate for such a book, and then we had to contact them, and wait and see whether they wanted to participate. Then we had to interview each person. We then had to put all of that together, edit the interviews, and send back the interview to each individual for them to approve. We also had to find a format that made sense. We edited and edited and answer the publisher’s questions. It was tedious. In the case of The Takeaway Men, I have been researching the Holocaust for most of my life. The research continued while I wrote the book, and because I want to know everything about it, I continue to explore this subject even now. The difference between the two is that with fiction once you firmly root and develop your story and characters in the research, you are free to exercise your imagination. I found writing a fiction book much more enjoyable, freeing and creative than a non-fiction one. But I will add that I continue to enjoy writing short non-fiction essays about topics that I care about.
- What do you have to do before you actually start writing the story?
For me, it was years in the making. I had this idea, but I wasn’t sure how to execute it. Some writers don’t want to discuss their ideas with anyone. But I’m the opposite. I solicited friends and family to talk about various scenarios. There were so many decisions to make before I actually started writing. What would be the nature of the Holocaust survivors’ experience? What secrets were they hiding? What country did they come from? Where would they live in America? Sisters or twins? Identical or fraternal? Besides talking it out, I continued to read, research and watch movies and documentaries. When I saw the documentary, Bogdan’s Journey, I knew my survivors would come from Kielce, Poland, the scene of the Kielce Pogrom in 1946 – after the war. Once in America, I situated the family in Queens, New York, because that’s where I grew up and was totally familiar with the area.
- What time of day do you usually write?
I rise very early in the morning, so that is when I am freshest and I think I do my best work. I like to write for at least three hours in the morning, but if I am on a roll, I will do more. And, if I feel the book is writing itself, I will continue in the afternoon. But I rarely write in the evening or at night. That’s my time for relaxing. But I admit that if I read a book or see a film or program, that is relevant to what I am writing, I might take notes.
- What was your favorite part, and your least favorite part, of your book journey?
As I said, I loved researching and writing the book. I loved naming the characters and creating their back stories. I liked deliberately writing action scenes. I didn’t even mind the many times I had to edit it. As my tenth grade English teacher said to us: “Remember, your words are not immortal.” The most difficult part for me is having to promote the book. Although I have a publicist, I find that I have to be very active in bringing the book to the attention of readers – both people I know and people I don’t know. At the beginning, I felt timid because we were in the midst of a pandemic and I thought people might resent it. But actually, the opposite is true. People are reading more than ever and everyone welcomes a new good book. And there’s so much activity that takes place online among book lovers.
- Where can readers purchase your books?
The Takeaway Men can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookshop.org in addition to other venues. There’s a link on my website for all the outlets that sell the book. There’s also an excerpt of the prologue, and questions for book clubs on my website: https://merylain.com/the-takeaway-men/
Meet the Author:
Meryl Ain’s articles and essays have appeared in Huffington Post, The New
York Jewish Week, The New York Times, Newsday and other publications.
The Takeaway Men is her debut novel. In 2014, she co-authored the
award-winning book, The Living Memories Project: Legacies That Last, and
in 2016, wrote a companion workbook, My Living Memories Project
Journal. She is a sought-after speaker and has been interviewed on
television, radio, and podcasts. She is a career educator and is proud
to be both a teacher and student of history. She has also worked as a
school administrator. The Takeaway Men is the
result of her life-long quest to learn more about the Holocaust, a
thirst that was first triggered by reading The Diary of Anne Frank in
the sixth grade. While teaching high school history, she introduced her
students to the study of the Holocaust. At the same time, she also
developed an enduring fascination with teaching about and researching
the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg case. An interview with Robert Meeropol,
the younger son of the Rosenbergs, is featured in her book, The Living
Memories Project. The book also includes an interview with Holocaust
survivor, Boris Chartan, the founder of the Holocaust Museum and
Tolerance Center of Nassau County, New York. Meryl holds a BA from
Queens College, an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University, and an
Ed.D. from Hofstra University. She lives in New York with her husband,
Stewart. They have three married sons and six grandchildren.
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