Barbara Wood Polak ‘itching’ to write stories


Barbara Wood Polak is a fiction writer, former elementary school teacher, and author of Boomerang Lies. Her novel is the story of a respected, suburban family whose lives unravel into a life of danger and despair after her husband's lies are exposed. She discusses her inspiration for writing and her novel’s themes of family, friendship, and personal resilience.

What has been your experience writing and publishing your first book? What have you learned?

When I finished my book, I realized I didn’t have the slightest idea what to do regarding publication. I learned from my Hithergreen Writer’s Group that most people had attended workshops, book signings and many other activities to prepare them to publish. To say the least, I was confused and felt quite a bit of anxiety. A lot of people gave me ideas of what avenues I should take. I finally decided to self-publish with Four Cats Publishing.

Wittles, the lovable dog in Boomerang Lies, is an important character. Tell us more about your inspiration for her and why she figured so prominently in the book.

Wittles was modeled after my own dog, Cosy. She was a Bichon and we had her for sixteen years. I feel most family dogs are definitely a member of the family. If we are happy, they are happy. If we are sad or anxious, they can tell. The part where Wittles was lost reflected my own biggest fear, Cosy getting lost. I reflected that chapter after that fear.

Boomerang Lies touches on topics of interest to women, such as family responsibilities, facing fears, marriage. The main character Chris definitely grows during the course of the story. Were there specific themes about the challenges women face that you wanted to explore?

Chris went from her father’s home to making a home with her husband. She had no time to live independently. After several years of depending on her husband for most things, she is forced to live a life where she has to depend only on herself. She abruptly learns about finances, contracts, the job market, safety, and living with and making friends from people from diverse backgrounds. I wanted to show Chris growing but also hoping there would be a warning to never stop growing and learning when you are in her initial position.

The book is very suspenseful and some scenes have a sense of foreboding and menace. It also has surprising, unexpected turns of events. Was it a challenge to keep the suspense and tension going throughout the story? How did you plan it?

Actually, I didn’t plan most of the events in the story. Most chapters seemed to flow into the next. Sometimes, I felt like I was as surprised as the reader as to where the story was going.

What responses have you gotten from readers so far and how are you promoting your book?

Everyone who has read the book seemed very positive, even people who do not read much. I am happy with the response but definitely see a need for more marketing and planning to really give the book the chance I think it deserves.

What are your plans for your next book? Will there be a follow-up to Boomerang Lies?

I have already written a bit on the next book. I have many ideas that are just itching to be in writing. The next book will be a sequel to Boomerang Lies.

Boomerang Lies is available in print for $13.50 on Amazon or as a Kindle e-book for $2.99.

Credit: Stephanie DiFiore

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