A young author's first book dives into...


Boyer. And joining us. Now is the author of a brand new book, it's called the Dutch wife, and what a story Ellen Keith. Welcome to the program. Hi, thank you very much for having me Ellen is this a fictional or non fictional historical portrait. It is definitely a fictional novel. But it is rooted in actual fact events that I did uncovered that happened during World War Two and the holocaust. So tell us a little bit about the premise of the book in and what some of the horrific things that happen to women during this time. Okay. So that that's rife is my first book and it set during World War Two the main character is a Dutchwoman merica, and she and her husband are deported to the concentration camps from their home in Amsterdam because of their work in the system. And in her effort to find him. Again. My face is a really terrible choice, even by concentration standards. She's asked whether or not she will volunteer to become a prostitute in the concentration camp brothels. So women were really put in that compromising position in order to survive. Yeah. I mean, it didn't happen. Super often, but it was happening at a number of camps during nineteen forty three onwards. Himmler decided that he would try to boost the economic productivity of the camps labor force by introducing a reward system so prisoners if they were to be behaving while they could have a chance ever awards such as a visit to the camp cinema taking books out of the library or the top. Reward was visit to these prisoners brothels. It's unbelievable. The book is getting rave reviews. It. Yeah. It's been a bit surreal to me as I said, this is my first book, and I went into a little unexpected. It won a contest. True my university. It was actually started out as my thesis and. Arba Collins in Canada put on a contest. But that you could enter with a full manuscript written. And I was really sitting there till the one minute before the deadline at minute at midnight. How man Han? Hi over whether or not I thought my manuscript in good enough shape to submit. I was really hesitant and the whole everything that's happened since then how things have been pulled. It have been a huge surprise. And it really depends on my dreams. So how is how is life going to change? Now. Well, right now, I'm based in Amsterdam. So I've been working as a at a day job at a nonprofit, and I'm trying to balance side with writing. And I think with the success of this book, hopefully, I can focus my attention on writing. I'm just starting to sketch out some ideas for a second novel. So we'll see where that goes. And are you going to do another historical theme or? Yeah. Definitely I think this next one will have a bit Marvin American focus. I think I'm going to set it in New York City in the nineteen fifties. Oh, how fun how fun? So this this. When you when you sat down to write the book. Did you think this was just a one time thing or did you hope that this would become your new future? I've always really wanted to be a writer. But I think it was one of those things that you have as a dreamy don't really know how realistic it is just like saying, oh, I think I want to become an actress in Hollywood, it was something that I thought I will give myself a few years and tying invest everything I have into reading a book because otherwise, I it would always just be something that stayed on the sidelines writing a few pages here, and there I really tried to focus with the hope that something would come of it. But I really had no idea what it would be too. And here you are. Now, how exciting and the the new book is getting rave reviews. It's it's the Dutch wife. And Ellen is they're going to be a sequel, or is it a standalone. Well, I initially when I had written a novel. I actually tried to cram a lot more material into then the book could hog. So I have material that type potentially work as a sequel, but it's really at this point meant as a standalone novel. Okay. And the the second novel. I mean, are you do you have all of these books in your head now? And do you wake up and have a notebook by your bed and just start the madness of writing down, and creating all of these opportunities. I do try to keep a notebook with me at all time. Sometimes I find the best inspiration comes if I'm out cycling to work or if I'm out for a run or some things, I sometimes I have to stop in the middle of a run and just recorded voice memo. But I don't know that anything is fully formed yet. It just ideas that come here and there, and sometimes I think that happens it down and think how can I bring these altogether. Because I mean at this point, you're still a very you're still very young and with so much future. How exciting though to have all of these opportunities opening up for you. Yeah. I'm really thrilled by everything that's happened. Here. It's like I said, I couldn't have imagined. How things unfold, and we'll see I really hope that I can make writing a bigger part of my life. And I'm so excited to start on the next novel. I think sometimes you get so caught up in the editing process and the logistics. Putting together a book. But now, it's really nice to sit down and actually just. Dive back into my imagination. Yes. I bet. I bet. When when did you first start writing Ellen? Always been a bit of a writer. I remember when I was nine ten my parents app, an old typewriter in our basement playroom, and I would sneak down there early on Saturday mornings and try to come pose some sort of story and was always my favorite class English class whenever we were allowed to write a story. Instead of writing more academic essay always jumped at the opportunities. So you've been doing this for a long time now. Yeah, I think throughout high school and elementary school. I was always trying to write one novel not there, and they were always historical fiction. So that's always been my passion. But I always only got about thirty pages in and then lost interest. I thought that I had matured in some way or another and needed to write about a different subject. So this is the first novel that I really wrote from start to finish how long did it take you to write this? It took about three years. And I think most of that was a lot of research. I wrote the first draft in one year, and then after that it required a lot of revision from the first after the second draft. I ended up putting a hundred and fifty pages. That's because I as I said I'd almost tried to write two novels in one. So I had a lot of story line about what happened to certain characters several decades later after the war, and I cut most of that because they're just couldn't all fit in one novel. Yeah. And so at this point now, you have the next book ready to go and do you have like three or four more in your head? Bay rough idea. I has some things I thought, oh, this this could maybe go somewhere, but not fully formed characters or plots or anything yet. Just just for this first one that's coming up. Like, I said I'm in the middle of writing. And I'm sorry. I'm still trying to see exactly what would happen in the book how things would come together logically. And then hopefully in the next week or two sit down and start writing. And how did you come? When did the title come right away? You mean in general or for the Dutch wife in particular for this book for the Dutch wife, actually, when I first started out, I had a very different title in mind. It was for me a very symbolic title. But ended up founding a bit too much like a horror thriller novel was originally called blood road. When I submitted it to this contest. But it wasn't a good match. But the the feel of the book, and it I think would have not worked in attracting readers to pick it up because it had very different field than what the book was actually about. Well, we wish you the best of luck on this book. And the book is available wherever books are sold. Yes. As far as I know, I'm basing candidates. I've yet to see it in book store in the United States that from what I hear you can find it pretty much anywhere. And it must be very exciting to see your book in the shelves of bookstores. Yes. I have yet to tire of it. And I'm sure I'm sure well, we wish you the best of luck on this wonderful journey you're on Ellen Keith. And thanks for being with us. Thank you so much for having me. Okay. And we'll be back in just a moment. This is Frankie Boyer. And you're listening to us on biz talk radio and checkout, Frankie, Boyer dot com. And by the way, the cabbage show is just growing and

Coming up next