The Wooden Chair by Rayne E. Golay‏

Whenever I pause and think about my past, I realized I’ve lived three lives in one. Some people are lucky to spend their whole life in the village or town or country where they were born. They’re surrounded by relatives and friends they’ve known since childhood, have deep roots. I believe they are very rich. My life has been made of a different cloth with hues of the rainbow. It’s been about change and adaptation.

I was born in Helsinki, Finland. For various reasons I changed schools three times before Highschool. When I was very small, my mother used to read to me. She helped me put letters together to form words. As she was done reading “A Thousand and One Nights” my passion was born. From then on, I read everything with the printed word: matchboxes, newspapers, pamphlet and books, of course. I was no more than six years old when my father obtained a library card for me. Believe me, that was one of the happiest days of my childhood. To this day, I read at least three books a week. In school, I always had high grades in composition and wanted to be a journalist, but my parents had other plans. I got a Masters degree in psychology, was certified as addictions counselor in England after studies in the United States.

Skilled in languages, from the age of fifteen I translated dialogues in Hollywood movies from English into Finnish and Swedish. This, my first paying job, came through my father, who was the Nordic managing director of a prominent American film company.

After graduation, I married, had two children in rapid succession. My then husband was transferred to Geneva, Switzerland, so that’s where we moved with our two wonderful children.

In Geneva, I worked in a multinational company as an addictions counselor with responsibilities for all of the company’s European subsidiaries. During this time, I wrote two non-fiction books: one about alcoholism, another about dysfunction in the workplace. I also wrote the script to “Something of The Danger That Exists,” a 50 minute film, used within the company as part of an educational program, which I facilitated. In my function, I was a frequent speaker on dependence at conferences and business groups. As I oversaw company sites throughout Europe and the then East Block countries, I’m fortunate to have traveled extensively.

As an avid reader, I’ve read most American, French and Russian classics, modern literature and poetry. It may seem that my books are autobiographical, particularly THE WOODEN CHAIR, but that’s not so. I believe in writing about what I know, so my life has parallels in Leini’s story, but I guess you have to read the book to find out more.

My whole life I’ve longed for the sun and warmth. When opportunity presented itself, I took up residence in Florida. I live here with my partner, my best friend and husband.

The award winning novel THE WOODEN CHAIR is my second book. At present, I’m editing my third story.

Every book is a journey so enjoy the trip.

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Winner of the Royal Palm Award, Florida Writers Association

Set against the background of the Finno-Russian winter war, this story starts I Helsinki in 1943 and spans over fifty years of Leini Bauman’s life.

As a child, Leini stands ready to do anything to win her mother Mira’s love. This effort costs her the sight in one eye and as a result, causes her to endure bullying from kids her own age. As a teenager, with her Grandpa’s help, she undergoes one more surgery to straighten her eye, but the psychological scar of the events of her childhood remain.

Leini struggles to break free of Mira’s tyranny by leaving her native Helsinki to study psychology at Geneva University. A few years later, married, herself to a wonderful man, about to become a mother, she is determined with her own children not to repeat Mira’s behavior. With the help of a psychiatrist, she labors through the pains of past hurts to become a nurturing and loving mother and wife, as well as a successful professional, as she grows from victim to victor over adversity. Can her efforts lead her to the one thing she needs to discover the most - the ability to forgive her mother? 

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Untreed Reads Publishing

The Wooden Chair is a beautifully written period piece. When I began reading, I didn’t stop until I turned the last page. Ms. Golay’s descriptions are so powerful, the characters so true to life, they’re unforgettable. Leini’s journey from an emotionally abused child to a self-confident woman should be read by all who’ve suffered any form of abuse and persevered. Quite the most powerful novel I’ve read in years." --Suzanne Barr, Author of Fatal Kiss

The Wooden Chair took hold of me in the first paragraphs and never let go. I kept expecting—and wanting—someone to rescue Leini from her wildly unpredictable mother who told Leini she wasn’t wanted. Leini’s disappointments and longings as she faced serious issues for such a young girl kept me engrossed. I wept at Rayne Golay’s vivid descriptions of Leini coping in an unfair world, and I rejoiced at her remarkable quest to change, at her acceptance as she grew into adulthood. Rayne’s high quality writing in The Wooden Chair makes it an emotionally charged read, a compelling story of one woman’s valiant struggle to grow away from past hurts. A triumphant story! --Elizabeth (Bettie) Wailes, Author and Editor

Q) What inspired you to write this story?
First, thank you for having me. It’s always fun to talk about me and writing.

While I worked as a psychotherapist and drug and alcohol counselor, I encountered victims of child abuse, these damaged men and women who were neglected, belittled, ignored, beaten, forgotten. They consulted me for a variety of problems like sleeplessness, nightmares, anxiety, defeatism, the list goes on. Over time, it turned out that some of these individuals had been emotionally and physically abused as children. In particular, two of them who consulted me kept me awake nights, long after I no longer saw them. When I was retired from my job and able to finally fulfill my dream of writing, these two persons appeared as one on the pages of my story. The female protagonist, Leini, in my award winning novel THE WOODEN CHAIR is the composite of these two persons. Leini’s story is not unique among abuse victims, it’s by far not the worst of what a child may experience, but what Leini experienced was bad enough for her.

Q) How long did it take you to write? 
I’d written two non fiction books while I was employed. Once my time was my own, I sat down to write a novel without having a clue of how to write creative fiction. I thought if I just string words together, an editor will shape it up, give it form. Hah! At the end of a couple of months, I had a huge pile of pages, as far removed from the next great American novel as the moon is from the sun, if I may venture a cliché. After I took creative writing classes, got a writing buddy, with time and rewrite after rewrite, THE WOODEN CHAIR emerged as the book, which is now published. It took time. And work. And patience. And editing, editing, editing.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
I like the character development best. With both LIFE IS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE and THE WOODEN CHAIR, I started with an idea of the main characters. Let’s take Leini, the female protagonist in THE WOODEN CHAIR; I interviewed her, asked her to tell me step by step her story, her fears, anger, feeling of rejection, of being unwanted, inadequate. I know my fellow writers will understand that Leini wrote her story with me as her spokesperson.

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
Don’t beat me up; it’s writing the first draft. The idea of the story is so clear in my mind, but it doesn’t translate well on the screen or the page. The internal editor keeps getting in the way of the process of writing. Once I get to editing, it gets easier.

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
Gold Meir, Israeli prime minister in the late 1960 and early 1970. Her impact on the Israel and the Middle East was huge. She came from hardship, struggles to become a world leader. An admirable woman.

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
Oh no. Believe it or not, but I don’t keep old stuff in my fridge. Or freezer. I’m not a hoarder or collector. I do my shopping weekly. Before I head for the store I inventory my fridge. If something is past it’s best “before date,” I chuck it. I don’t like clutter and stuff. Any garment I haven’t worn in the past year, I discard because chances are I’m not going to wear it.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
The story I’m working on is THE SURVIVING SISTER. I’m a firm believer in the importance of living in the moment, so the next story is in the future. THE WOODEN CHAIR is recently published. THE WOODEN CHAIR is now.

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