Sunday, November 16, 2014

Everything by Carole Wolf: Curve Magazine Review


Everything by Carole Wolf

“Everything” is an epic, monumental and enthralling read. Heart breaking, poignant, moving - a magnificent story of self destruction and redemption.



Published: 

In her latest novel “Everything” Carole Wolf sets out to tell the chronicle of a family, a band and an addiction. Interwoven is a tale of growing up, a love story, a road trip and all of this based on the highs and lows of a brilliant, creative, self destructive woman. At 548 pages it is huge. But it needs every one of those pages to cover such an ambitious tragedy.

Ms Wolf’s writing is outstanding. It flows off the page and wraps around your senses, recreating time, place, atmosphere and ambiance in an effortless tsunami that drowns out the outside world and subsumes the reader. We are swept up in the lives of Jol├ín, Rachel, Myla and the inhuman fourth character that impacts all of them in the most dramatic of ways.

The cast is huge, from the core characters of the band, immediate family and friends, to bit players we meet momentarily along the way. They are all drawn with detailed care, forcing their way off the page and into out imaginations so strongly you will remember many well beyond their actual presence. The main players are more than just solid and well rounded; they are so real you feel you know them personally.

It isn’t an easy read. It is a tough story about a woman’s painful decent into hell, and the impact that has on everyone around her. But while it is a tale of secrecy, deceit and despair it is also about redemption, forgiveness, and ultimately the self-sacrifice to ensure the survival of one you love more than yourself. A novel literally of two halves, the first shows us a constructed life that seems whole and complete, but when the layers of socially accepted appearance are pealed back we are left with something raw, bloody and very real.

Hats off to Ms Wolf for a creation that had me enthralled. Despite the obvious ‘decline of a rock and roll band’ plot, it had so many twists and turns, unexpected bumps and intriguing plays,  to absorb me completely. It has left me churning with emotions from compassion for those whose lives were so severely impacted to joy for a love that survived everything and admiration for the mind of the woman who created it and her skill to deliver such a work.



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

My new novel Everything--available NOW!


Goodreads Free Giveaway

Click to win a free paperback copy of my new book Everything! Limited copies available until November 25th 2014, so get yours! Go!



 
 


    Goodreads Book Giveaway
 

   

        Everything by Carole Wolf
   

   

     


          Everything
     
     


          by Carole Wolf
     

     

         
            Giveaway ends November 25, 2014.
         
         
            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.
         
     
   
   


      Enter to win



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Character Blog Roll--Get to know Adrian Randal of "167 Seconds"


I have been invited to participate in the character blog roll for my most recent work in progress, a psychological drama that follows the path of a college student who is sentenced to thirty years in prison for the murder of her brother-in-law. Here are some things you'll certainly want to know about this character.

1). What is the name of your character, and is he/she fictional or a historical person?

The central character's name is Adrian Randal. She is a fictional person; however, given her circumstances she could easily be any one of us, an "everywoman" of sorts.

2). When and where is the story set?

The story is set in 2004 Atlanta, Georgia and takes place over a twelve year span, from 2004 until roughly 2016.

3). What should we know about him/her?

Adrian is a twenty-four-year-old graduate student, working on her Masters in sociology and youth counseling, and she is currently completing an internship in which she works with Atlanta's at-risk youth. She is from a working-class family and has one older sister named Emily and a six-year-old niece with whom she is very close. Her mother is living, but her father is deceased. Adrian is altruistic, well grounded, and compassionate. She's always had an uncomplicated and direct vision for her future, and thus far she's been able to follow that path without many obstacles. She prides herself on making solid, educated decisions, on doing the 'right' thing, and on having done all the work necessary to reap the best benefits in life. She's a "good kid" who enjoys college life and is enjoying being in love for the first time with her partner, Sarah.

4). What is the main conflict, and what messes up his/her life?

Adrian shocks herself on the night of September 6th, 2004, when she shoots her new brother-in-law, Michael Young, sixteen times with his own nine millimeter handgun. Less than an hour prior to this incident, Adrian and her mother had received a distressing phone call from Adrian's sister Emily (Michael's wife) who is hysterical and sobbing about Michael having beaten her up. When Adrian and her mother Joyce show up to console her, however, Emily reveals yet another detail, a fact more heinous than Adrian can handle. Emotion seems to override all the good sense and temperance for which Adrian is known as she takes the law into her own hands and murders Michael Young in a blind rage, destroying her life before it has even begun.

5). What is the personal goal of the main character?

Having been sentenced to thirty years in R.W. Pulman Correctional Facility for Women (fictional), one of Georgia's most dangerous state prisons, Adrian's goals are very simple: stay alive, stay 'invisible', and stay sane so that she might make parole in 2016 and begin to put her life back together again.

6). Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

The title is 167 Seconds, and I have a few recent blog entries about it and will be posting more entries on the writing process along the way.

7). When can we expect the book to be published?

I am hoping for an early 2016 release (hopefully through Bedazzled Ink), as the book is in its fetal stages, only on Chapter Two at this point.


Thanks to Rhavensfyre for inviting me on this blog tour! Rhavensfyre's next book is entitled Rest and Relaxation and is coming soon! You can read all about their work and keep up to date with them at www.rhavensfyre.wordpress.com.


I am now passing the author blog torch to:

JL Gaynor https://www.facebook.com/jl.gaynor?fref=ts
Helen Dunn http://on.fb.me/1pyvk4Z
TT Thomas www.ttthomas.com
RE Bradshaw rebradshawbooks.blogspot.com
RJ Samuel www.rjsamuel.com

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Finding the Mood Music

It could be considered a crutch, but without the right music--I mean, the absolute perfect music--my books would never get written. This latest WIP, 167 Seconds, seems to require a certain sound (like all of them do) in order to generate provocative imagery, poignant character introspection, and meaningful dialogue. My books are movies in my head, after all, and every movie needs a score, right? I just wish it were possible to somehow include free 'soundtracks' of the music I've used to write these novels, but there are copyright and distribution snags that prevent such a cool perk. So, I've listed a few of the artists whose works have inspired 167 Seconds and linked the YouTube videos above. I also make audio files to post to my website, which you can find at www.carolewolfauthor.com

If you've listened to any of them, you'll notice the darkness in most of these tracks, which is more than appropriate. A good portion of 167 Seconds takes place in a maximum security women's penitentiary, a fictional facility that I've plunked down right in the middle of rural southern Georgia, just twenty miles north of the Florida state line. The central character, 24 year old Adrian Randal, is a Georgia State University student who has murdered her brother-in-law for reasons I won't spoil for you here, but let's just say they're quite controversial. This act has landed her in one of the worst women's correctional facilities in the state for the next thirty years, essentially destroying her life. The place to which she's been sent is a privately owned prison that rivals such institutions as Sing Sing and Attica with a main housing unit designed in the roundhouse style of Stateville Penitentiary in Illinois (an architectural prison style also found in the Netherlands).


One of the biggest concerns my wife and closest friends have had about this novel is whether the prison theme will end up mimicking Orange is the New Black ::sigh:: No. It will not. I believe I may have touched on that subject in an earlier post and dismissed it there as well, and I can assure you--167 Seconds is about as close to OITNB as the film Gravity is to Spaceballs. So, as a reader, if you're looking forward to some new take on OITNB, you won't find it in 167 Seconds. And if you've been cringing at such a cheesy possibility, don't worry, you'll get the same darkness and grit and tortured characters found in my upcoming novel Everything (formerly self-published as The Months of Moon). I promise. 


*all pictures and music copyrighted to their respective owners*

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Best of Both Worlds, Or Pick One?

Since finishing my upcoming novel Everything, I've found myself experiencing some kind of creative, literary bipolar thing. I would typically advise against working on more than one idea at a time, simply because it makes it difficult to commit to a project and hence finish the project. But I am breaking my own steadfast rule and I'm working on two stories at once--one by day, the other after the sun goes down, respectively. I really should make a decision.

The daytime story (still untitled) is set in the summer of 1978 in Pennsylvania and revolves around the life of twelve-year-old Santana Mae Howard, a young girl being raised solely by her father in a very multicultural, blue collar, urban neighborhood. There's a lot of classic music and vintage imagery from that era, several pre-adolescent characters, a lot of color and sunshine and nostalgia. So, the ideas flow best for that story during the day.

The second is a very dark novel, which already has the title 167 Seconds. It's about a twenty-four-year-old social services student, Adrian Randal, and her experience in a maximum security women's correctional facility after she shoots her brother-in-law sixteen times with a 9mm Beretta (you could say she had a very good reason...or maybe not. Depends on your personal values, I guess). The story line is non-linear and does some jumping around in time, although not to the point of being confusing. For the first half of the book, there are two story lines being told congruently--Adrian's life during the year prior to killing her brother-in-law, and the years she spends incarcerated for that murder. The second half of the book (as I see it right now) will focus on Adrian's re-entry into society after being released from one of the worst women's prisons in the state of Georgia. This prison is fictional, mind you. I could have used Pulaski State Prison, as I had some firsthand research sources for that facility, but I preferred to create my own prison so I could describe it however I wanted and make up my own rules (within realistic reason, of course). 167 Seconds will have a huge focus on PTSD and how so many ex-cons experience difficulty trying to re-assimilate into society, into their families, into the workplace, and so forth, after years behind bars. No...this is NOT Orange is the New Black--it isn't even close, not even in the spirit of that book/show, not reminiscent of it at all whatsoever. If you MUST relate it to some previously written prison story...think, I dunno...Oz but with all women, I guess, sort of. That's only a portion of the story, anyway. Unlike the 1978 story, this book has very little color, lots of grays and browns and blacks, lots of metal and concrete, a shitload of profanity, and a great deal of graphic violence. And within all that scary, dark, fretful storytelling, there's a love story. No, not a prison love story. A post-prison love story between Adrian and Thalia, a friend of Adrian's sister who must try to wade through Adrian's acquired dysfunction to get to the wonderful woman she knows is underneath. Thalia must learn to understand PTSD and how it is affecting Adrian if she hopes to have a romantic and fulfilling life with her. And Adrian must learn to understand her own condition as well, if she ever hopes to be emotionally stable and be able to enjoy life as a free woman. The two of them will have an interesting road together, to say the least.

What's the significance of the title? Well, it came to me almost immediately after writing down the plot summary, before I even wrote the first narrative line. Adrian's attorney discovers that it had taken Adrian right about 2 mins and 47 second (167 Seconds) to commit the murder that changes her life forever, the murder that will change her forever. Doesn't seem like a very long time...and it isn't. There are a few references throughout the book as to what kinds of profound and impacting things can happen to you in under three minutes, actually. Not just Adrian's crime. There are lots of other little factoids and tidbits to think about as well: Was it a crime of passion or something premeditated? Is she a hero for what she's done, or just another vigilante thug? What would you--the reader--have done in her circumstances, or do you even know? That's one of the biggest subconscious questions the story asks, so much that Adrian (including her family members) has no physical description whatsoever. That's intentional because A) I don't want to suggest that anyone of a particular race/nationality would be more or less prone to violence, and B) I want the reader to be able to put themselves in her shoes, and that would be difficult if Adrian was undoubtedly black or white or Asian or Latina, etc. She could be any of those, at least bi-racially so. Her situation could happen to any one of us.

Looks like I'm making my decision as to which one to put all my time and effort into. The 1978 story is promising, too, though. It's just not where my heart is, apparently. Maybe next time, when this one is finished. My wife and some friends are going to be disappointed, but they were disappointed when I suspended Monasco 3 to write Everything, and that one turned out to be a pretty good decision.