With every talk I have given about Escaping the Whale, someone always asks about Marcia's childhood and background. Finally, people started suggesting I write a prequel to the book, so that they could see how my protagonist got to be the young lady they met in Escaping the Whale.
At first, I was opposed to the idea. I felt I had created Marcia Gold as a complete character at age 28, and that anything a reader needed to know about her was revealed in Escaping the Whale. But as the frequency of the questions increased, I thought about what it would be like to re-visit Marcia as a young child and to see how she grew up and how she began to struggle with her "demons."
In addition, I was so moved by readers' interest in Marcia that I felt I owed it to them to provide the background they wanted.
Well...I am happy to report that that this prequel, which is to be entitled
The Whale Surfaces, has been written! It was an exciting adventure, traveling backwards in time with my protagonist! I must confess that the lockdown of the past year, which I joined everyone in bemoaning, actually allowed me to work on this new book with the focus it required. The prequel begins when Marcia is 11 years old and it continues through the years until she graduates college, lands a job at a Brooklyn high school, and takes her own apartment at about age 22. Readers will see the beginnings of Marcia's strengths, and her problems.
The research I conducted included not only the nature and manifestation of many fears and delusions. I also researched the national and international events of those years which influenced everyone, especially the sensitive Marcia. In addition, I attempted to revive the minutae of life during those years, much of which I personally recall. Those of you who lived through that time period may remember your own reactions to all of this.
The book is short -- a novella, actually. It will be available as both a Kindle e-book and as a book-book. I will post as soon as it is available. I am very excited to see it come to life, and I look forward to hearing all your reactions to it. So please let me know your thoughts! I never imagined my Marcia Gold would have the audience she has, and I am so grateful to all the readers who encouraged me to do this.
Visit www.RuthsWhale.com to download and read the first chapter now.