Menu
0

Cart

|

Richard St.Ofle interviewed in ‘Burnside’

Richard St.Ofle interviewed in ‘Burnside’

No Wolf (the waygoing compromise) author Richard St.Ofle was recently interviewed by Stephanie Nikolopoulos of Burnside Writers Collective. In the interview, St.Ofle discusses his motivation for writing his personal memoir, the influence that Jack Kerouac had on his life and his connection to Guadeloupe:

Richard St. Ofle Is No Wolf

Arts, Books, Featured — By Stephanie Nikolopoulos on August 20, 2010 at 3:00 am

(note: the original article post can be found here:
http://burnsidewriters.com/2010/08/20/richard-st-ofle-is-no-wolf/)

I kind of hated Richard St. Ofle when I first started reading his autobiographical debut, No Wolf.   I turned page after page, mad at the narrator–and consequently, by virtue of the genre, the author.  From there, I quickly made the jump to the male population as a whole.  That might sound unfair, but the story centers around a passionate young man who leaves his wife for another woman, a story we’ve heard time after time in novels, celebrity tabloids, and conversations with friends.

St. Ofle’s writing is visceral, though–a fast-paced, raw travelogue into the heart of Guadeloupe and the mind of a young man trying to figure love out.  I soon found myself caught up in Richard’s story.  He wasn’t afraid to bare his heart on the page.  He wasn’t bragging nor justifying; he knew he wasn’t the good guy in the story.  Rather, his self-awareness revealed the frustration, pain, and, yes, the beauty of the human condition.  We are all searching, stumbling, yearning, and St. Ofle, well-read and indie cultured, has the literary verve to express love’s complexity.

I asked the publisher, Ashbury Way, how he came to publish No Wolf, and he said he’d known St. Ofle for close to a decade.  “By chance one day I decided to check out his website,” says the publisher.  “[T]he sample [of the book] he’d posted was riveting,” and so Ashbury Way asked to see the manuscript.  Soon after, Ashbury Way had offered to publish St. Ofle’s book, and then for two weeks, whenever they weren’t at their day jobs, the author and the publishing house labored ’round the clock, editing, typesetting, and developing the cover.  The hard work paid off. No Wolf is an excellent debut by an author whom I hope we’ll be hearing from again soon.

Rather intrigued by Richard St. Ofle, his life story, his terse-yet-absorbing prose, and his Kerouac obsession, I had to find out more about his writing process and if he is working on another book.

Stephanie Nikolopoulos: Why did you write “No Wolf”?

Richard St. Ofle:  I realize how this sounds, and don’t mind sounding cliché if that’s how it comes out: The book totally wrote itself. It’s a story that was born out of the hardest experience of my life, and it’s something I’ve been analyzing and hashing over ever since, both in my mind and with friends, so it was just there all along.

I knew, going into it, that it was going to be something I’d want to remember, for better or for worse, so I bought a notebook that I took with me everywhere, for the duration of the story. I was kind of obsessive about details, because it’s only when a story is over that you really realize which details are the ones that mattered, so I wrote everything down. When the story was over, I opened the notebook back up at the beginning, and whittled it down to the story in the book.

I think I say something like this at the beginning of the book, too: The story, for me, had to be told. I didn’t feel like an experience as hard as the one I went through could go untold. It would have been a waste if I didn’t do anything with it.

The narration is raw with emotion.  How did you allow yourself to be so vulnerable on the page?

It’s funny, a lot of people that know me personally are really surprised by that too, I’m not a very revealing person in real life — I have secrets, and I’m typically very personal and guarded about my feelings and emotions.

In writing the book though, early on, I decided that it would be a terrible story if I didn’t make it a point to be as honest as I could be, and throughout I kept pushing myself to be honest and uncomfortably detailed with how I felt and what I was doing. I think the story only really works if I’m the villain, and if my motivations and flaws are really exposed, and to do that, I had to write a story that was as uncomfortably vulnerable and as honest as possible.

You reference Jack Kerouac (“On the Road“) a few times in the book.  Your book certainly emulates Kerouac’s spontaneity, his “first thought, best thought” approach to writing—and perhaps even life.  Your feelings appear unedited, and yet certainly there were moments when you must have censored yourself.  When you were writing, did you consider how the relationships you portrayed would be affected by your writing about them?

Yeah, Kerouac really changed my life. I found a copy of On the Road in my grandparents’ basement when I was 12, and even though a lot of it was way over my head, the emotion and energy were right there on the page and couldn’t be mistaken, even as a 12-year-old, I felt it.

I’ve always dreamed of writing a book like that, with that fervor, and really tried to do that with “No Wolf.”

To answer your question, I really was painstakingly careful about editing myself, and tried to open the book by telling the reader that I’d be as honest as possible. With a story as emotional as this one, though, you’re right, there were secrets that simply weren’t mine to tell. I mean, I think I have the right to tell all of my secrets, but it’s obviously unfair to tell (in print no less) other people’s secrets, so I was careful about which details belonged to whom.

I’ll give you an example: There was a character in the book that during the time the story takes place was in a lot of trouble, just like me. Trouble that, though of a very different nature than the trouble I was in, really would have made a nice parallel, and I think I could have played with it a bit as a plot device, but I decided that I couldn’t because that secret wasn’t mine to tell.

I don’t doubt that I offended people by writing about them the way that I have, but, and I mean this, in every case, these are amazing people I’ve written about, and they can surely take it.

Also like many of Kerouac’s works, “No Wolf” is in part a travelogue.  You take us into the culture of Guadeloupe, describing in detail the foods and music.  Toward the end of the book, you refer to one of your relationships as the catalyst for the other.  Do you think, though, that perhaps it could have been place or travel that served as a catalyst?

Yeah, there was a question that I kept asking the first few people who read the book, and that was “Does Guadeloupe feel like a character, or a place?” I really didn’t want it to be a setting, because sometimes books that are set in very specific locations tend to be taken over by that location. Think of reading “The Old Man and the Sea” if it wasn’t set in Cuba, or “To Kill a Mockingbird” if it wasn’t in Macomb, Alabama! Not that that’s bad, but I just didn’t think that was where I wanted to take the story, so I really tried to intertwine Guadeloupe with the character of Corine. I tried to describe them similarly, and to mention them at the same time, to really tie them together in the reader’s mind so that Guadeloupe came off the page a little more.

I read an interview once, in which Kurt Vonnegut was saying that, by the end of the book, a reader should be able to respond to simple questions about characters, such as “what does this character want?” or “what would so-and-so do if…” and I hope I gave Guadeloupe that sort of voice, even if it’s just in an abstract way.

I do think that Guadeloupe had a huge hand in the outcome of the book, but because the Corine character and the Guadeloupe “character” are — in my mind at least — intertwined, it really doesn’t matter. Jimi Hendrix talked about that a lot, actually. The song “Little Wing” was about the city of Monterey, and he decided to describe Monterey as if it were a woman – I’ve always liked that idea.

Music also plays an important role in your book.  You talk about The Beach Boys, Mogwai, and Karen O. You even created a soundtrack—August Hell‘s “Beautiful Teethmarks“—to the book.  What is the significance of music in your book and how does it help shape the story?  Why create a soundtrack?

Yeah, that’s another part of the notes I was talking about making – I’d make really careful notes about the music I was listening to, and the correlation with where I was in the story, how I was feeling, and what I was listening to. I think it’s incredibly important, not just in terms of what it means to me, but when I’m reading a book, I always imagine the music that I think certain characters would listen to, and I thought it was kind of a favor to my readers to answer that question for them.

The soundtrack came about because a good friend of mine and I were talking about what went on that summer, and so I sent him the book — back when it was just notes and sketches in a word document. He read the entire thing in an afternoon, and called me up, and we talked about it some more. He really understood how I felt, how everything in the book affected me, and what it would sound like to be there. He’s one of my favorite musicians, and so I asked him to make a soundtrack for the book — just because I felt like he understood it so well.

Now, because it takes an hour or so to listen to the soundtrack, and days to read the book, they’re not meant to be played in conjunction, consecutively. I think it’s just the same story told with a different medium. They’re meant to go together. Oh, and the soundtrack comes out on iTunes in a couple of days, too. We had it streaming up on the site until recently, but now people can go to iTunes and get it directly, which I think is a lot better. I think that everyone that has read, or will read the book should get it, it adds to the experience for sure.

In the book you say that you are not religious and yet you reference the Christian religion several times.  In the beginning of the book, you talk about the sad eyes of Jesus.  By the end of the book, though, you’re invoking the term “born again.”  Why did you choose to use religious terminology?

Yeah! I like that you asked this; no one yet has really picked up on it, but it was definitely intentional. As I was working out the story, I was reading Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero with a Thousand Faces,” which really breaks down and defines the hero’s journey by comparing mythologies.

I reading it, I was drawn to these hero journeys, and really wanted my journey to have parallels to the archetype of the hero, just to sort of tell Joseph Campbell that I was listening to him. I picked the Christian story because I think it’s the most accessible. Everyone knows the basics of the story, which is what I wanted: that specific kind of calling out to another story and instant recognition that would never have happened if I’d used the story of Osiris from Egyptian mythology, or Prometheus from Greek mythology, or even the Buddha story. I think I would have just come off as really pretentious, and my point would have been lost.

What projects are you working on now?

I often get asked if I ever relax…   and it’s true, I tend to avoid sitting still for too long. I typically function best when I’m  overwhelmed.   I’m writing another book now, told in the same uneasily true vein as No Wolf. I also have an art book that’s in the editing stages. Last year, I mailed out disposable cameras to friends, acquaintances and unknowns all over the world. And asked them to take a roll of photos for a week. We all did it the same week, and I’m making a book out of it, highlighting the similarities and differences in people’s lives.

I’m also curating at a gallery in Sacramento called the Gallery at Bows, and I have a show of my own art work coming up in Portland. That’s at the New Albina Press in Portland, OR in September.

Finally, I had a baby — with one of the characters from the book — you’ll have to read the book to see which one, and of course that keeps me happy and busy, too!

UPDATE: This article was edited on August 24, 2010.  Certain details were removed but the content remains true to the reviewer’s opinion.

Tags: , , , , , ,
22 Comments Leave a reply

  1. samsung 1080p hdtv
    Permalink to comment#

    Your article is a wealth of interesting and well-written information. The more I read the more I want to read. Any writer that makes the effort to write engaging content like this should be commended. http://www.samsung1080phdtv.net/

  2. hoodia gordonii
    Permalink to comment#

    Thank you, I’ve just been searching for information about this subject for a while and yours is the greatest I have came upon till now. But, what about the bottom line? Are you positive in regards to the source?

  3. state of florida house insurance
    Permalink to comment#

    I’ll immediately snatch your rss as I can not to find your e-mail subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Please let me recognize so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  4. Lorie Lighty
    Permalink to comment#

    Great post!

  5. Dorie Hereford
    Permalink to comment#

    Awesome post! I will keep an on eye on your blog.

  6. Andre Melito
    Permalink to comment#

    Awesome writing style!

  7. maismpale
    Permalink to comment#

    Figuring out to return to institution for a vocation inside computers-or mainly because it is frequently described from the industry: THAT, Technology, as well as IT Services is really a huge choice and something which really should not be considered gently. For anyone who is reading this article write-up after that then chances are you formerly made a decision that the occupation with computer mend could possibly be befitting an individual; both equally important can be deciding on the best classes. http://australia.gov.au In any community presently there are going to be various alternatives through regular four-year schools to a variety of distinct technological schools. Although any four-year university or college is usually the best option for long-term vocation growth, continuing education at a four-year school isn’t really right for all people and many go with a specialized higher education caused by possibly the lower price tag or even quicker time forced to full this course. Quite a few additionally want to show up at any technological higher education pertaining to computer mend so that they can speedily enter the particular labor force in a entry-level IT work and finish any four-year amount later though they’re being employed by a firm that provides education costs compensation. This information will mostly concentrate on deciding on the best specialized school; one who may assist you to uncover are your personal computer restoration support technical assistant, multilevel tech, IT assist workspace agent as well as related career. Generally in most towns you will have at the least several different possibilities connected with technological universities offering personal computer restoration solutions training. The correct buy to commence the choice course of action is to 1st make the decision to go back to help university then went about determining that university to go to. Will not merely go ahead to satisfy with one of the colleges recruiting brokers in addition to trust in these people to offer you all the info you may need the universities is worth. Doing this could put an individual vulnerable to shedding your current purchase of their time along with money in any complex classes education and learning that doesn’t build a good job in your case ultimately. Any small business needs to keep advertise it is companies to make it through and technical institutions are generally absolutely no different. This is why it is very important recognize that the actual school’s occupation employer is often a merchant for that specific institution and is particularly not going to share with a person something that may impact you to definitely head out someplace in addition. Ironically this specific writer offers viewed many people placed more impartial study in to purchasing a truck when compared with throughout picking where you get the education. As soon as returning for you to classes to become computer restore program pc professional you should realize that not every schools are manufactured equal- a number of offer knowledge in addition to qualification that can more easily change you right good forking over employment when compared with others. First thing you need to think about will be exactly what recruiters are trying to find. You should begin by selecting distinctive businesses you would certainly take into account the excellent spot in which you want to operate whenever you conclude school. In the event that you might start your working computer services vocation wherever that you planned to next wherever could you need to work? They’re the sites you’ll want to call intended for suggestions about that classes they prefer or maybe has provided these people previously with competent applicants. When phoning it is possible to question to be able to talk with your HOURS supervisor, or even your director on the section in which you want to work. Basically inform them which you esteem their own company and also aspire to function there several morning inside a computer system products and services career knowning that you would like their own advice on that school them to consider is the most suitable. Most administrators will be flattered you are seeking the judgment and you will probably find that the majority of (if not many) of these is often more in comparison with prepared to speak with anyone and present assistance with regards to that universities have got supplied these people most abundant in qualified computer individuals. Many supervisors may have some strong ideas about the laptop or computer techie colleges into their place but might be reluctant to convey anything at all unfavorable with regards to some of all of them, thus take cautious take note that school they often prefer. This can be the most effective facts you will get within your research due to the fact as soon as you complete your current degree and begin your career research you will need to have gone to a school that may be favorable inside little brown eyes of the would-be employers. As long as they have gotten wonderful achievements along with employees that gone to a definite college or university after that having that will institution on your application may give an individual reliability. Similarly if they have had employed staff through another university and found these phones end up being with a lack of particular required skills, next getting that will school in your resume is often a barrier of which you should conquer prior to finding a career present coming from that will business. Your second most crucial factor to weigh is qualification. Qualification by Microsoft are usually hugely precious whenever looking to area a job in the laptop or computer products and services industry simply because ensure a level connected with skill that a diploma or degree simply by alone won’t. In the event you want a job to be a computer system repair assistance technician next you’ll want to make certain that by the period an individual scholar you might be at least a ‘microsoft’ Qualified Specialist (MCP). The greatest level of ‘microsoft’ Qualifications is known as MCSE as well as Microsof company Licensed Systems Engineer-ideally you would like to possibly be an MCSE but for almost all uses a great MCP will do to obtain anyone a entry-level job throughout personal computer restoration. Certification are also significant because they are generally comprehended simply by organisations. You can head out wherever near you even though the companies there might not exactly possess got word of this techie school that you went along to, they will know that you are assured to become proficient together with Ms merchandise since Ms possesses authorized the item. Many universities offer qualification during their particular program however what exactly is crucial to realize is usually if they involve or guarantee that. Laptop or computer repair educational facilities having cheaper specifications will often have certifications listed because suggested of their packages which is definitely a cause regarding concern. On the very best specialized universities accreditations are going to be necessary. Initially it could appear beneficial to listen to of which accreditation is usually optional on the other hand numerous reduced level specialized schools will always make the particular qualifications “optional” in an effort to recompense while the majority of their graduates are lacking the mandatory expertise to have all of them. Should you enroll in a new school pots essential qualifications you should understand beforehand which through the time period a person move on you’ll have all the required expertise to get a beneficial spending location inside the personal computer mend subject. The past thought can be which you may want to speak to a variety of techie educational facilities and discover the one that complies with your family needs. It is very important don’t forget that you are the one meeting with the college understanding that whilst you have decided to attend back to classes, people have not but determined that you’d like to visit to their own college. Although it holds true that will you need to apply and stay approved prior to attending, the particular complex institution is really a enterprise plus they require a regular circulation regarding individuals to stay in enterprise. Dependant on that creators of these studies personalized practical knowledge it’s very extraordinary for a potential student to never always be recognized for a specialized college consequently avoid getting drawn in through any specific employer that endeavors to turn the furniture for you by suggesting that they are not confident if you’re certified to go to. It really is a typical tactic which job employers work with to have an individual writing applications and papers. If you are to make sure you have the ideal opportunity at having the task you desire inside computer system mend industry you need to meet with the school primary and be sure that that fulfills all your requirements just before filling in any kinds. Entry-level personal computer mend companies work generally fork out properly as well as almost always is an exceptional gateway place that may after direct an individual in higher personal computer work for instance project management, circle design and server tech, nevertheless for getting right now there you’ll very first have to play the credit cards correct simply by choosing the right classes that may make certain you the ability to get the base from the entrance.

  8. Todd Hinahon
    Permalink to comment#

    I really liked reading your post!. Quallity content. With such a valuable blog i believe you deserve to be ranking even higher in the search engines 🙂

  9. arrardicund
    Permalink to comment#

    Lengthy ago i presented any workshop for a customer on office hotel and also several this players came to everyone afterward to talk about specific predicaments they were acquiring of their respective worksites. Equally of these have been utilizing workers who was simply away unwell for an extensive time frame and so they felt scared to seek info in the coming back staff. I imagined that it may be well worth providing a number of information about how to control a resume perform as well as office holiday accommodation making sure that several of which dread could possibly be removed : if these received worries — there may be other people. First and foremost, a great employer features a to preserve in touch with a staff that’s away for a extented time period. Simply no, they can’t telephone every day; nonetheless, they might surely phone each and every little while to see the way they usually are accomplishing and pay attention to if you experience almost any approx . night out connected with returning. Based on the nature with the condition (as well as personal injury) telephone calls may be made every month once you learn that this period apart will be prolonged.
    You can ask inquiries that will aid throughout helpful a employee’s come back to do the job and you’ll demand dermatologist’s stories.
    Quite often, it is great for your doctor to get a copy of an job outline consequently that she or he could offer you details in regards to what types of responsibilities this employee are capable of doing as soon as willing to give back. You’ll want to include a long time associated with perform to ensure the medical doctor provides here is how to be handled and also the directory obligations. (Be aware: you are not permitted to secure a diagnosis of your issue however, you can easily acquire information on how a ailment will probably impression the work.)
    Whenever a workforce asks for accommodation due to the fact he / she can not perform total several hours as well as return to whole duties, you must confirm what exactly they could or perhaps cannot perform and also established the get back to function system for the worker. The personnel must also always be willing to use the actual workplace within controlling the particular return.
    The particular employer should make certain that the actual doctor’s order placed are now being followed – even when this worker affirms that he or she is able to do more – the objective would be to have him/her come back to work safely and securely.
    Have a seat while using staff whenever they profits along with talk about the master plan with each other. Inform you that will you will see anticipation with regard to confirming on just about any troubles or maybe concerns to ensure you can find simply no insecurity. If you’re the boss, this kind of conversation is going to be involving a person along with the staff. If you have a hr or even health and safety policeman, the particular talk should happen between that individual, your inspector and also the staff.
    Be sure that beneficial documents are held in regards to the employee’s returning. Precisely how properly is actually the individual handling with the working arrangements as well as obligations which have been given?
    Become happy to discuss possibilities when the overnight accommodation in the beginning started out does not seem to be working. Staying available to tips will help with which has a successful return.
    If you don’t feel you’ve ample details about an employee’s situation to take into consideration possibilities realistically, look for more info along with acquire agreement on the staff to seek more specifics of his/her health issues via his/her doctor. Don’t forget, this member of staff must also always be http://www.usembassy.gov ready to cooperate with your supervisor in locating an appropriate alternative.
    Hold most data that is contributed by the member of staff and health practitioner non-public. Every one of the supervisor would need to recognize (if you’re hr or possibly a safety police officer) is actually how a medical condition may impact the doing involving employment tasks.
    Anyone are entitled to learn the particular treatment regarding restoration if the particular medical situation is short-term; about period regarding complete resume standard obligations is often a sensible question to help question.
    In the event the diagnosis pertaining to restoration just isn’t very good, with regards to entire restoration; consider various other jobs can the actual staff be looked at with regard to.
    You aren’t essential, being an employer, to create a brand new situation to the worker.
    You are able to look for a private professional medical evaluation if you feel you cannot provide this worker more than a lengthy period of time or even there is no need a suitable situation. The most important thing, as stated, is getting this staff here we are at function correctly along with without having further troubles.
    It is not tolerable to look for a medical exam merely away from matter make fish an employee’s ailment may get even worse or perhaps go back. The one motive make fish an boss must evaluate an additional view (beyond in which given by the actual employee’s doctor or experts) should be to make sure a new protected come back and be distinct concerning tasks the actual personnel are capable of doing.
    Especially : stay beneficial and stay seriously interested in searching for options which will be advantageous in order to all people.
    Start verbal exchanges is usually encouraged.
    Certification can be a ought to. Remember, maybe you is not going to locate a perfect option : that was not precisely what you are required to carry out. The actual worker is usually eligible for a fix that will complies with their particular health-related requirements of course, if generally there will not appear to be a direct answer – look at choices. Staff has got the work to do business with the actual workplace in locating reasonable remedies — definitely not excellent options. Know that in the event an employee can will not work with a affordable answer, in which documentation is manufactured. Possess the worker clarify in greater detail what’s certainly not tolerable regarding the alternative to see if she or he possesses choices you may not include deemed. Very last, and not minimum; enable a reasonable period to view should the hotel can be working. Preserve touching the particular staff to make certain that any kind of modifications that will ought to be produced are produced. Even as it can appear like an extremely challenging procedure to go through, and also employers worry the term “duty to accommodate concise associated with unnecessary hardship” no imply your personnel could phone the actual images for the get back to function. Business employers along with employees possess proper rights in the complete course of action. In the event that within skepticism about how exactly to control any work environment lodging, get in touch with your own authorized representation or maybe hr expert for further information.

  10. mulberry handbags
    Permalink to comment#

    Hi,I come to your site fairly regularly, and I do enjoy reading your blog.To bring you more traffic,I linked to your site with a dofollow link .You can find the link here:www.mulberrybagmulberrybags.org/blog/site-like/.Nice to know you.Lol.

  11. Huntington plumbing supply
    Permalink to comment#

    Awesome post! I will keep an on eye on your blog.

  12. how to improve eyesight
    Permalink to comment#

    Great post!

  13. Bodybuilding
    Permalink to comment#

    Great post!

  14. making memories
    Permalink to comment#

    Awesome writing style!

  15. The best affilate marketing tips
    Permalink to comment#

    Awesome writing style!

  16. Austin divorce lawyers
    Permalink to comment#

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  17. Earn money online
    Permalink to comment#

    Awesome post! I will keep an on eye on your blog.

  18. digital printing
    Permalink to comment#

    Glad someone is writing about this!

  19. corporate gifts
    Permalink to comment#

    Awesome writing style!

  20. folder printing
    Permalink to comment#

    This is by far my favorite blog! Keep up the good work!

  21. definition of hypertension
    Permalink to comment#

    Awesome post! I will keep an on eye on your blog.

Leave a comment

Share