Thursday, August 11, 2016

Old Money

Before she dies Kitty Stevenson needs to tell her story of death and depravity in pre-war Nazi Germany.
An 18 year old Kitty finds herself in Nazi Germany. She is there to spend a family fortune that’s been embargoed by the Nazis. She leads the high life while all around her Jews are being arrested and war is imminent. She risks her life to let the world know about the oncoming Holocaust. She helps Jews escape and runs for her life aboard a Jewish refugee boat bound for Palestine. When war doesn’t break out immediately, she returns to Germany and quickly books a passage home on a German registered ship with the little money she has left. She arrives in New York City just three days before Hitler invades Poland igniting the Second World War.
Set in 1997, my novel OLD MONEY takes place in a hardscrabble, rural Nova Scotia, reminiscent of Annie Proulx’s “The Shipping News,” and in pre-WWII France and Germany.
OLD MONEY is the story of three women:
Kitty Stevenson is a dying New York socialite, expatriated to rural Nova Scotia. She has a major heart attack during an extreme ice storm. Confronting death, she recounts her life to Barb, her rustic neighbor: an austere childhood in a French convent school, the high life in pre-war Nazi Germany (“I was Sally Bowles only I had money”), meeting Hitler on the eve of Kristallnacht, and a desperate effort to help herself and others escape the coming war in Europe. Meanwhile, Mandy Betts, a Pentecostal preacher, is bent on a last minute conversion of an agnostic Kitty. Mandy's persistence and antics offset an otherwise dark narrative. The only question is, will Kitty finish her story before she dies?
I would compare the tone of the story to Annie Piroux’s The Shipping News, with a dash of Philip Kerr’s Berlin Noir thrown in. The manuscript has been edited for colloquial voice by the editor of the Pictou Advocate (Nova Scotia) and for story integrity at the Fresh Pond Writers Workshop.
I have been a general assignment reporter. I wrote four trade textbooks (computer science) for a major publisher. My magazine credits include monthly columns Panic, in Altos World, and Famous Last Words in Unix World magazine. I have multiple stories on, and Ibbetson Street Magazine. I have edited/curated the Wilderness House Literary Review for the past ten years.

The manuscript is complete at ~85,000 words.