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May 22, 2023

Episode 39. Author Shirley Novack

Historical fiction usually is a book that takes historical facts and weaves them into a story That is not true But what do you get when you take a historical fiction book and weave into it? bit of real life and true crime You get a book that you...

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Historical fiction usually is a book that takes historical facts and weaves them into a story That is not true But what do you get when you take a historical fiction book and weave into it? bit of real life and true crime You get a book that you cannot put down

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Historical fiction usually is a book that takes historical facts and weaves them into a story That is not true But what do you get when you take a historical fiction book and weave into it? bit of real life and true crime You get a book that you cannot put down Join me as I talk to author Shirley Novak

on this episode of True Crime in Authors. Welcome to True Crime in Authors podcast, where we bring two passions together. The show that gives new meaning to the old adage, truth is stranger than fiction. Here's your host, David McClam. What's going on everybody, welcome to the episode of True Crime in Authors. Of course, I'm your man, David McClam.

Hey, if you guys haven't already, make sure that you check out all of our social medias. One link to a link tree in the show description will get you everywhere you need to go. Well, if you have been following the show, you know it is once again time for another author interview. And I have a great one for you today. Let me tell you who our guest is. She is a first generation daughter of Polish Russian parents.

She recently published her first book, which is a historical fiction novel. She originally graduated from Fisher College in Boston with a degree in laboratory science. After marrying and having three children, she went back to school and she has a successful interior design business for the past 38 years. Writing her book and getting it published has been a dream come true. She is the author of the story of... Please welcome Shirley Novak.

Hey Shirley, how you doing? Hi. I am glad and privileged to have you on the show. So thank you for coming on. Thank you for having me. Your book, The Story of, is a great book. I'll let the audience know it is a page turner. It is definitely a book. According to Kendall, it should take you four hours to read this book. You can probably read it a lot quicker than that because everything about it wants you to turn the next page. You don't want to stop.

So the first one I want to dig into is I know that in part of your bio that I had read otherwise is based on your father's life. Can you tell us a little bit about your father? And I'm assuming that is the character Jacob based on him? Yes. My father's name was not Jacob, who was the main character of the story. My father was born in 1904, Kurets, Poland. And his father was probably the worst father that any child could ever have or ever imagine he was a real tyrant.

But his mother was very sweet and loving. When my father was 12 years old, his mother died. And his father sent, his father sent he and his nine-year-old brother to live in the care of a brothel. This is all true. And he said, I'm going to America and I will send for you when I have enough money, which was very indicative of that time of the world. I mean, that's what people did.

from Eastern Europe that were emigrating over to America. So it took him three years to send for his boys. During those three years, my father was raped by a Polish soldier. And that was all true. He was 15 years old when he was raped. And in the story, I have my father coming face to face with this Polish soldier maybe 20 years later in America.

And the rest of the story takes off from that. It's about love and lost, revenge, murder, mayhem, kidnapping, all the good stuff. Now, I think you told me that the first three chapters of the book is real. Yep. And the rest goes on from there. I wanna give you kudos on that because if you'd have never told me that, I would have thought that the whole entire book was real.

because the way that it's written and blends in, you really get into Jacob right away. It's, you automatically take a liking to him and you want to see where he's going. He's taking care of his brother. If a person like me who's been through, I had the worst father in all of creation myself. My dad was very abusive to me and my mom. It's often been said, that's why my mom went to her grave earlier than what she should have is because of all the beatings she sustained.

So I automatically honed in on Jacob. That's heartbreaking. Oh, well, you know, we all survived, but when you write books like this, these books create a lot of healing because we get to see what somebody else, you know, got to go through even in those early days, right back in the 1920s and 30s, when I wasn't even around, you know, you're like, these things are happening. So Jacob, being who he is, taking care of his brother, survives in this brothel.

What made you come up with, well, besides it being real with your dad, what made you want to go ahead and put that in the book? Do you feel like that's something that had to be told to bring his story full circle? If you look at the title of my book, it's the story of dot dot dot. And those three dots are indicative of everyone who emigrated to this country at the beginning of the 20th century because they all have a story. Everyone has some kind of a story. This was my father's. And I think what made his

What's more unusual is the fact that he spent three years in a brothel. And the madam of that brothel was a very kind, loving woman who had suffered her own indignities. We don't know whatever happened to her because after he leaves the brothel, the rest is really all fiction. He did go to Ellis Island and he was quarantined there.

And the people in the book who are portrayed as his father and stepmother truly were evil people that I had the misfortune of knowing. And they truly were as evil as evil could be. And I experienced that myself knowing them. Their names are the only names in the book that are not changed because they deserve to be thrown under the rug for who they were. So I kept their names.

Yeah, man, it was horrible and you can feel it. I mean, that's the one thing you can feel that, you know, Jacob was like, I hope after all these years, he hadn't seen his sons in three years, right? He's like, I hope after all these years, maybe my dad's changed, maybe his new wife has changed him, maybe he's softer and then he gets there and he's not. To me, he's the same person, if not a little worse. And then, you know, I don't wanna spoil the book, but there does become a time where Jacob ends up standing up to his dad. I'm like, good for you.

Good for you, for everyone who wanted to do this. What prompted you to go ahead and write this book now at this time? I've always had writing in me. I've always loved to write and I attribute that to my, this is going to sound weird, there's one acknowledgement in the book, only one, and it's to my fourth grade teacher. My fourth grade teacher gave us an assignment to write a poem about spring and he was so impressed with my poem that he made me read it to the entire school.

I was nine years old and he took me aside and said, don't ever stop writing, someday you're going to be a great writer. Don't ever stop. And you know, I was nine years old and this man influenced me and I've always loved to write, but I've never published anything before. My father died in 1984. Very suddenly he just dropped dead. I didn't find out about the rape until after he passed away. And...

It made me really sad. I felt so terrible. And I always felt like it was a book I wanted to write. And I would pick it up and I would put it down and I'd pick it up and put it down. But I was trying to make it nonfiction. And there just isn't enough bite in it to make it nonfiction when my mind was going a mile a minute into murder and mayhem. So when I finally decided that I'm going to make it fiction, that's when it just

The pandemic hit and I was home and it became a labor of love. It just literally flowed out of me. There was very little editing done in this book. It wasn't like a first draft, a second draft. I just made a few corrections here and there, but it just came out of me. I don't even know where it came from. It was like there was a hand guiding me. And the hardest thing I had to do was finish it because...

As a writer, now I know, your book becomes your baby, and you don't want to let it go. And ending it was not something that made me happy, because I became so attached to it and the characters. It was just quite an experience. I'm on my second book now, but it's like the stepchild. I don't have the same feeling for it as I did this one. I don't know if that's normal or if that happens or what.

I've heard from other authors that, yeah, I've actually interviewed an author a while ago and I said, which one of your books is the favorite? And he goes, you're going to make me choose which child is right. Each author from who I've interviewed has a book that is their absolute favorite. And in a lot of cases is their first one or is something that deals with their life or whatever the case is. But yeah, there definitely is favorites out there. Jacob carried this. So I'm assuming your father carried this whole rape thing with him.

probably until he passed. Yeah, he never would have discussed it, never. Right, he didn't want his brother to know. It's something that even back then we feel ashamed of. I do a lot of speaking to other podcasts because I was raped by my father when I was a young age. And the one thing when it comes to men is nobody pays attention to us when we say we've been abused. You know, it's especially if a woman abuses us, which I've had that happen too. And then we...

internalize that because of who we are supposed to be as men. And I'm spreading the word that if this is happening to you, you need to talk about that, because sometimes it shortens our life. Sometimes it alters the way that we are. And sometimes it's just not good to carry things with you that you should share with other people that you trust, not everybody, but that you trust that can help you get through it. So I totally do know how he was feeling during that time. But it's not the taboo it was years ago.

Being open and honest and talking about things that would have never been out in the open, I now it's talked about freely and I think it's a lot healthier that way. Right, right. Especially back in those times, there was a lot of things that you could not or just did not say. No. I totally agree with you on that. Yeah, absolutely. Now on the flip side of this, there was some good that came to Jacob's life. I won't give it all away, but I think that there is a piece in here.

I'll tell you what I took from that. You know, he's coming through Ellis Island. He does get quarantine. He gets sick. He ends up meeting Elizabeth, who he hits it off with very, very well to the point to where they're not thinking that, hey, at some point this trip is going to end and Jacob's going to have to leave. Does takes off. She gives him his information or her information. He has information to give, but he goes to hunt her down about six years later.

What I took from this is if you have somebody out there that you were romantically involved with or wanted to be and you never reached out, take that chance. You never know what happens. Is this something that actually happened to your father then? Is this how he met your mother? No, that part is fiction. Well, that is a good part. That's what I mean. You can't tell what part's real and what part's not. You did such a good job. Thank you.

That's like whenever I do a book club or signing or something like that, somebody always asks me, okay, what is real and what is fiction? Because I can't tell. And that to me, that's the best compliment, you know, not knowing. But I will say that even though they're not the story is not real, the characters I did draw from real people who were in our family's life, friends of my father, people in our lives.

I did draw from them and my father's character was every bit Jacob. In real life, he was a very humble, dignified person, poor. Having respect was utmost in his life. You have to be respectful, you have to respect, you don't talk back, you know, you respect your elders.

You get good grades in school. I got a D once in school. And let me tell you, he took his belt off and chased me around the house so fast. I don't think you can do that anymore. No, you know, parents can't be parents we used to be. There's a lot of laws now that says you can't do certain things, but yeah. No, no, no, no, no, no. When I saw that belt come off, I knew I was in trouble. So, you know, it was things like that that would set him off. And I was really a good kid, but...

You know, the little things that I stepped out of line for were not terrible, but in his world, it was. This is not how you grow up to be a good person. And I'm glad because, you know, I never knock on wood, I never got in trouble. I never drank or did drugs or any knock, you know, thankfully, you know, back in the 60s, everywhere you went, people were smoking and snorting and...

You know, I never, I got a high off of being around people who were happy. You know, you're happy, I'm happy. I don't need to do it. I don't need to abuse my body in order to smile. Fortunately, my kids never got in trouble or did anything that bad that I know of. Yeah, I tell everybody, I used to go to a court panel because, you know, now you can't spank your kids and things of that nature and you're saying,

you know, all these studies says they turn them to violent people. I'm like, I'm a seventies kid. My mom whipped my butt for things that I need to be whipped for. I didn't go murder anybody. What it did for me was it kept like you, it kept me out of jail. I saw my friends doing things that they shouldn't do. I didn't do those. And I would rather have people call the police than to call my mom. So I knew what I would get if I was doing what I was supposed to do.

And it's made me the person who I am, so. Yeah, my kids are kids of the 70s also. So you could be my son, you know. But they got away with nothing. And they knew they could get away because I, you know, I lived through all that stuff when I was younger. They could get away with nothing. And so they stopped trying. I wore them down. But they all grew up to be really great people. So that's good.

And I will say, I don't know how this is in any other race, but I will say it is true. Have you ever heard the horror stories of the black moms showing up in pink rollers in a house coat? That has happened to me. That is real. Well, wait a minute. I had a Jewish mother. Same thing. We're not that much different. I would come home. I played hooky once in my life. One day in my entire life in the ninth grade, I played hooky with some friends. And of course she found out about it.

And I came home that day and she's pounding her chest. Where did I fail with you? Where did I fail with you? No. Once in my whole entire life, I played hockey. My son, my son picketed when his first day of high school, he was picketing outside the high school with a bunch of Chinese exchange students because they were changing the dress code.

of the high school and it was on the 12 o'clock news. And so he ran into the school to call me and say, hey mom, I'm gonna be on the 12 o'clock news. So meanwhile, everybody that picketed got detention, but he was in the school calling me, so they didn't know that he was part of it. And I made him go to the principal the next day and say, I know you didn't catch me, but I deserve detention too.

I said, and the principal is going to respect you for doing that and you'll be fine. Meanwhile, the principal said, really? Well, you have detention too. So they never got away with anything. They always got away. They would tell me about it. So yeah, but you know, the kind of parenting that's done now is I call it permissive parenting.

I think kids just, you have to speak to them nicely. You have to speak to them with respect, which okay, you can speak to your kids with respect, but they have to be respectful back. I think too many parents these days say, what will make you happy? What can I do to make you happy? Like the sky's the limit. The word no is very rarely used. Well, it's used a lot in my house.

Well, it was in mine too, but my kids are now all grown adults and I can't tell them no. They're just waiting to put me in a home. I have one left. So I have the 20 year old who's going to college in September and then I have the 13 year old that's here and I'm like, hey, when it comes time to put me somewhere, before it's a place nice, I was nice to you guys. But no, I always go against that thing too.

A lot of people say you can't be friends with your children. And I said, that is definitely not true. My mom was my best friend, but there was a switch. And it's the same with my kids. My kids know when I'm being their friend and they know when dad has on and I'm serious and they won't cross that. And if you do it right, a lot of times you don't have to touch your kids. I mean, the belt store you told was kind of funny because my two oldest sons, I never really had to use the belt. I just had to say the word. So when they, they missed the bus.

And they came home, they're like, well, we can't go to school and let me go get the belt. You want the belt? No, that's all I had to do. And they straightened right up. I said, oh. So there's definitely different ways to go about it than what people is now. But yesterday, parenting in some cases a little loose. Technology has become babysitters. And we as parents, we fight that all the time now because unfortunately our kids are giving technology to rule their life. Schools are run by technology now, the whole nine. So I totally feel you in that. Well, when I'm in a restaurant and I see kids at a table,

texting away, I'm furious with your parents for allowing it. You know, you're out to dinner, you're sitting with your family, having a meal. The phone is never allowed at my table. That's, I think, one of the worst things you can do. And this is what kids are used to, take the phone away and they don't know what to do with themselves. What school is your kid going to next year? So my daughter would be going to Cal Baptist University.

Oh. Which is here in Riverside, California. It is one of the most prestigious schools for what she's going for, which is vocal performance. Oh, she sings. She is a singer and everybody's like, well, you want to send her there because you guys are Christians. Well, no, that's a small part of it, but she chose that school because of the musical program. They're the only school, at least in California, that does a full-scale opera performance every year. Oh, how wonderful.

They do 300, get this, 300 performances a year. We just went to her school day and the Dean was talking, he was saying, I know you guys are counting, there's only 365 days in a year, so how do we do this? He goes, we're doing at least two to three performances across the whole board a day. O-M-G, that's like wild, that's great. And she'll be close to home.

She will be about two and a half hours away from home, so not too far away that I can't get to her, which is good for her, but she will be living out on campus. So we told her this is the time to go out and explore things that she's not gonna explore any time else, it's college. So live it up, do the things that you've never thought you would do and succeed. It's a very special time of a person's life, going off to college and living away from home. I wasn't allowed to do that.

Um, yeah, no, I had to find a school that I could live at home. My mother went back to pounding her chest. You know, you can't go off to school, but, but I did have a summer job each year that I was in school, uh, waitressing in the, in the mountains. It was like the cat skills of new England. And it was, it was a lot like dirty dancing. I swear it was just like dirty dancing. I sewed my oats.

being away from my parents then, I didn't have to go to college to do it, but I would have liked to. These colleges, I mean, they make kids wanna come there. It's like their own little city. I mean, I felt like that I was at CBU Lane because you walk in there, you know, you see the college in the front, but you know, they have all their dorms and their apartments. It's like an apartment complex. They got their own restaurants in there. I'm like, you don't really have to ever leave campus and do anything. Never, concerts. Yeah, everything comes to them.

So we're looking forward to it. It's amazing. I had mentioned my fourth grade teacher. His name was John Willett. And he's the only acknowledgement in my book. And it's conceivable that he's still alive because we were his first class after he graduated college. And I just want his family to know what an influence he had on me. And I have not been able to locate them. I have gone to the Boston Public School System.

but their records don't go back that far. I've put it out on Facebook. Does anyone know what happened to John Willett? And it's amazing how many people got back to me and said, I don't know where Mr. Willett is, but I was in your fourth grade class. So I have a lot of new friends. But if anyone out there ever knew of a John Willett from Boston, Massachusetts, and

He ended up an English teacher at Boston English High School. I would love to know anything I could find out. So do you think that if it wasn't for John Willett, do you think you would have wrote this book or wrote any book? I honestly can't say because he gave me the confidence to write. He gave me the confidence to go ahead. And I used to write a lot of poetry. I think I wrote a lot of my term papers were always really good when I was in school.

I helped my kids a lot when they were in college. So I always knew I could write and I had the confidence to do it. Maybe it was in bread and me because of what he had said. I loved my parents but I did not have the kind of parents that encouraged me. They would tell me what I could not do or what I was not capable of doing. So they never would have pushed me to excel in anything.

So I think I had to prove them wrong. Seeing what I did not want to become was my positive. If there is one thing we all need, we all need a good sleep. And for this, we need a great pillow, which brings me to today's sponsor, Sweet Z. Made with 100% plant-based down, also known as vegetable cashmere for its extreme softness and comfort, Sweet Z's patented three-layer design ensures the right amount of comfort and support.

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And you just proved that with us. If you find one teacher that believes in you and wants you to succeed, that's the teacher you hone in on. And that's why my daughter's going to California Baptist University. When she got into choir, John Crocker, who's her choir instructor, was the first one to see where her talent was and said, you don't belong in flags, you belong in my choral program and we're gonna get you at the top. So she always sung at the top levels. Well, she deserved it. And you must pat yourself in the back.

because you encouraged her. We all did. And I wanted to make sure she wasn't doing this. I'm a musician, I'm a professional musician for years. And she wanted to play drums early on, which she did earlier in grade school. And I said, I want to make sure you're doing this because you want to do this, not because it's something you feel like you have to follow me in doing. What instruments did you play? I'm a drummer. You're a drummer? For over 45 years now, yeah. Are you playing now? I am not playing professionally anymore, but I do still play in my house.

I've done bands, I've been on albums before, I've done those kind of things, but once you have a family and settle down and all that kind of stuff, sometimes I go out the window. I have been looking for little bands around here, I wouldn't mind doing like local stuff. Because once you're a musician, it's like writing, it's in your blood. Oh, yeah. And I used to love, whenever I would go to a concert or anything, I would always watch the drummer. Honestly, I loved the drums. I loved the drums until my son decided to take up drumming.

That was painful at first. It would just reverberate around the house. The bad, you know, the ultimately got better at it. And that's why I excelled too. I'm what they call an anomaly. I'm a God gifted drummer. I've never had a lesson in my life. I played professionally since I was four. My mom saw that early on and to hone that.

I don't know how she endured it, but she would let me just bang on anything I wanted to. She'd go, here's your pots and pans and your spoons, which goes a long way to show if your parents just show you that little inkling of, okay, go ahead and do anything. You succeed at that. And my mom was very much the person that said, you can do anything you put your mind to. And I've instilled that into my kids too as well. So the sky's the limit. How hard you want to work for it's your decision. Can you tell us what unique challenges that you face writing this book?

The biggest challenge I found, and I know this is going to sound odd, writing the book came easy. Getting it published came easy. Getting it out in the bookstores and on Amazon and online came very easy. The hard part and the challenges that I'm facing more now than then is the marketing of the book. Because even though a publishing company will market your book.

they do it to a point. And unless you have an agent, which is impossible with your first book, or you hire someone to market it for you, which I wasn't going to do, you know, I was still naive at that point. You really have to do your own marketing, and this is the biggest challenge I find. I thought I could just go into bookstores and say, hey, I'll do a book signing if you carry my book. It's not that easy.

to do because they have their people who purchase. I mean, my publishing company is Fulton Books, which is a hybrid publishing company. It's not Random House, it's not Simon & Schuster. They don't want to invest in that. Even though they can return unsold books, they don't know you, they didn't even want to give me a chance. So it's been an uphill battle trying to get it into bookstores.

I mean, some Barnes and Nobles are carrying it. They're carrying it online. There are a few stores that are carrying it. I can't even get my own library to carry it. Although now that it's been almost a year, I think it has been a year. I'm gonna go back to them and say, hey, you know, I live in your neighborhood. Don't you think you should carry my book? The reviews have been incredible. I'm amazed by the number of five stars that I'm getting. It's just been an amazing.

You know, eye opener for me. But I think the biggest challenge that anyone would have in writing your first novel is getting it out there. You know, getting an agent is like unheard of, but I would like to try to get an agent for my second book. So is there a reason why you decided to go with a traditional type of publisher versus independent? I didn't want to self-publish.

I didn't want to self-publish because I felt like anybody can self-publish. Whether that's true or not, I don't know, but I felt that it gave more credibility to me as an author if I had a publishing company behind me. I ended up with a hybrid publishing company. And what that is, is you put a small amount of money up front, at least I thought it was a small amount of money for what they do. And they do the whole thing from soup to nuts as far as the editing.

the book design, they allowed me to design my own cover, which I heard is no one allows you to design your own cover. But I had a definite picture in my mind of what I wanted the cover to look like, and they allowed that. And a lot of people that have purchased the book tell me it's because they loved the cover. I do want to try to find someone to represent me the next time around.

you know, for credibility. But if anybody out there has a book in their head or a book that they want to write, I would say just write it and see where it goes from there. If it gets published, great. If it doesn't, you know, there's a certain amount of self-satisfaction in getting words onto paper. I will tell you this, you know, my whole game is I interview a bunch of authors. Several of them has been independent and I've asked that same question.

Just to kind of give you some stats, the number one selling author on Amazon in the US is Kirsten Modulin. She's self-published. The reason she went that way was because the fact that she wanted to have control over how many books she could write at one time. Now the joke with her fans, which is called the K-Mod Squad, is that she releases a book a month and she literally almost does release a book a month. She's written so many books that

I can't think of any traditional publisher that I know of right now that's releasing as many books as she has. Very successful, right? So I don't know, maybe I put you in touch with her if you decide to go that route, but she does book tours all the time. All her books are out there. If you look up on Amazon, she just has a slew of books. Also I have another publishing company that I'll talk to you about off of here. I deal with a lot of their authors and they have nothing but good things to say about

genius books. The control, they do help market you in the whole nine yards. So we definitely can help you get your book out there on any means. And that's why we're doing this. So everybody knows what a wonderful book that it is. Yeah, I am definitely going to try a different route with my second book. I'm not a youngster and to have a whole new profession. I mean, I've had an interior design practice for 38 years.

to go from that to this is so incredibly different. And I feel like I've been reborn. I really do. I feel like I've got this whole new life ahead of me, however short it might be at this point. As long as there's a breath in your body, there's nothing that you cannot attain. I feel, I feel that if you want something badly enough and you have the energy to do it, you do it. Or at least try to do it.

You know, the worst thing you can do is want to do something and not even try to do it. I think that's the only failure is, you know, saying I can't, I can't, I can't, I can't. Or in Boston you say, can't, I can't, I can't. So overall, how long did it take you to write this book? Once I sat down and really started to write it as fiction, I would say it took me a year. Fortunately, I've always been good at English. So the editing.

It needed very little editing as far as punctuation, spelling, and grammar went. Sometimes the editors would make mistakes. I recently met a couple and the woman is a retired English teacher. And she said, the only problem I have with your book is that you end some sentences with a preposition. Well, that's really not wrong. I mean, in this day and age, it's OK. It's allowed. Years ago, you couldn't, but that was more formal writing.

If you want to write a book, write it any damn way you want to write it. End it with preposition, start it with whatever you want to start it with. And if someone is going to find fault with your book because of your English, then that's not a failure. So I looked it up and I looked up everything. And yes, it is not wrong to end a sentence with a preposition. It's a different kind of English these days, less formal.

I have a writing coach that I adore and she was hysterical when I told her that that's what this woman called me out on. Love the book, but you ended some sentences and prepositions. You know, when I got a review on my book from online book clubs, they said that the

They gave me a five mainly because there was not one grammatical error in the entire book. And that was before this woman told me that I ended it with eight sentences with a preposition. I don't take much value in that. I say let it go. Be honest with your writing. Just, you know, if someone out there is a budding writer, just sit down and let the words flow. You can always go back and change things if they're on paper. But don't hold back.

Just don't hold back. How much research did you have to do to write this book? I went to Ellis Island actually. And I found my father's papers on Ellis Island, the boat he came in on. I did a little research into, you know, travels through this, through the Midwest. But other than that, it was very easy because we have something called Siri. Hey Siri.

you know, what was going on in 1906. And, you know, I had research like the Ziegfeld Follies and Broadway in that time of life. And I had to do some research, but it was, you know, it's easier now than it was years ago because you have the internet and I have a library. And I find this is true, especially in my knees being a true crime podcaster.

There's a lot of crimes you want to cover, but I wasn't around like 1940 and 30. And with the advent of the internet, I can just say, Hey, what's all these murders about in the 1930 and get the whole gamut of all kinds of crimes. So yes. Oh yeah. It's, it's amazing. I mean, I lived around the corner. The Boston Strangler was very big in the sixties. We were all petrified and the Boston Strangler actually killed someone around the corner from where I lived. I know.

So, I mean, going out and walking at night was a normal thing to do, and we were all forced to stay home. Albert, good old Albert DeSalvo. You know? Is there anything, now that the book is out, published, everybody's reading it, is there anything that you would wanna go back and change if you could? No, I want it to be made into a movie. Now, how easy is that?

Well, the one thing, you know, everybody, people do say to me, you know, this would make a great movie. I've already got a cast. I just need someone else to think that other than me. So, since you have a cast, who do you have playing everybody in the book? Oh, I'm going to keep that to myself for now. Well, I mean, you know, I live in Hollywood. Well, I live in Palmdale, California, not far from the moviemaking capital of the world, which is Burbank, California.

You get this into the right hands, which is part of what I'm here for to help you do. I don't see why you could not write a script from this. Leonardo DiCaprio is big fans of these kinds of things. My nephew is a script writer and I keep telling him, when are you going to write my script? You know, I think he should, but he has to read the book first and I don't think he has. So I have to sit him down and get him to read the book. Yeah. My son lives in Ventura County, down near Burbank. But yeah.

No, he doesn't have those kind of connections. Yeah, me neither. I'll talk to some people who do, but I'm definitely pumping your book. So I'm actually writing a number of other authors that I know and say, hey, you need to go read this book. I work very closely with two authors now and I pass all these books on. He needs to go read this book. The thing that I like about this book is, like I told you before we got on air, I am not a historical fiction type person.

When I read these, when people come up with these kind of books, I'm like, yeah, this is really not me. And a lot of it is because some of them drag on. Even though there's some semblance of truth in some of them, you don't really feel like you connect. This is the second historical fiction book that I think I've read in my whole life. And I loved it. It didn't read like a typical historical fiction book. I knew that I was dealing with the history because of the things that you were talking about, Ellis Island and, you know, coming over, Jewish, the whole nine. But it didn't feel like that.

It felt like it was historical fiction that was written for the modern age, that somebody who is 18 years old will want to go sit down and pick up this book. So you did an excellent job at that. David, thank you so much. That really means a lot to me. Thank you. So when do you want to come over for dinner? Whenever I'm in your neck of the woods, I would love to. That would be great. Do you ever come up north? Sometimes, yeah. So we have to get together and I'm up that way next. But yeah, I do sometimes.

Oh, well, I'm a great cook. I'm a great cook. I mean it since call me when you're up here. It's just been such a joy knowing you. Thank you. What do you want everybody to take away from the story of? You never too old. Never say never, never say never. And if you wake up every day and your cup is half full.

and you just want to seize the day, seize whatever it offers you. Even out of bad things, good things can emerge. You know, every time a door closes, another one will open, but you're never too old. As long as you have a breath left in you, do what you want to do, just try it, attempt it. I think I had told you, when I graduated college the first time,

I had an associate's degree in laboratory science. And I interviewed for a job with a team that wanted someone with a master's degree. And they said, we have to hire you because your enthusiasm is just so overwhelming. Now, my mother kept telling me, you're never gonna get this job. They want someone with a master's degree. You're never gonna get it. Well, I did get it. And it turned out to be pioneer group of researchers doing fetal surgery.

And they ended up sending me to the University of Rochester to take a crash course in hematology. So they believed in me. Now doing fetal surgery has become so, you know, it's every day people, you know, you operate on the unborn when back then no one had ever heard of it before. And I was on the groundbreaking floor of that research team. And all I had was an associate's degree. So see.

put your foot out there, try to do something that you think you can't do and you can always do it. You can do it. In closing, is there anything you'd like to say to any of the readers out there that may be listening? Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading my book. And contact me if you have any questions. You are free to go online and call me, talk to me. And if you have any questions, I'm booked for book clubs a lot and I love doing them

It's amazing to find out what people take away from reading my book. You know, many people just get something different from it. Yeah. Thank you for reading my book. And I'm on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn. Feel free to contact me. I'm very sociable. And you did mention that you are writing a new book now. Do you know when we will be able to look forward to that one coming out? I don't have a name for it. The very first.

chapter of the book deals with the death of Jacob. And after that, it has nothing to do with him, really. It's fiction, but it carries through on his family and what became of them and how they get involved with the mafia. More crime, more murder, more mayhem. Well, we definitely look forward to it. Shirley, thank you for coming on the show today. It was an honor to have you here. Anytime that you want to come back, you know how to get ahold of me.

Reach out to me and we can make that happen. Oh, David, thank you so much. What a joy meeting you. Well, thank you.

Alright guys, that was the incredible Shirley Novak. You can pick up a copy of The Story of on Amazon, and if you are a member of Kindle Unlimited, you can read it under that subscription for free. If you do it that way though, make sure that you are reading the book. Downloading it is not enough. She doesn't get paid unless you are turning the pages. You can find everything you need to know about Shirley in the show notes of this episode, as well as on my website.

Alright, once again, thank you guys for joining us. I hope you are being safe out there. And always remember, always stay humble. An act of kindness can make someone's day. A little love and compassion can go a long way. And this is the podcast, where two passions becomes one. I'll catch you guys on the next one. Thank you for listening to True Crime and Authors. Don't forget to rate, comment, and subscribe. Join us on social media.

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