Local author Merrill Wautlet first released his debut novel, The Rat, in September of 2019. It continues to resonate with others to this day.
Wautlet shares his inspiration for writing the suspense thriller and action story.
Wautlet experienced similar feelings to the father in his book when his oldest son began missing key milestones. In time, he would soon learn both of his sons were profoundly autistic and intellectually disabled.
“I wanted to honor my boys, so I took some of their strong characteristics — fearlessness, agility, high tolerance for pain, the ability to have iron-focus — and created a character from that,” Wautlet shared.
“The difference was that the character was a young boy with severe disabilities. He had tantrums, no speech or the ability to read and limited self-help skills. I then came up with a simple objective: after being forcibly taken from his family to be trained and used as a government tool, he decides he wants to go home to his mother, and nothing is going to prevent him from doing that.”
Merrill Wautlet is a career finance professional in the banking industry. Prior to entering that profession, he spent two years as a teacher and coach. He also has served on multiple community and non-profit boards in the greater Shreveport-Bossier area.
A native of New Orleans, Mr Wautlet now resides in Shreveport. He is the proud father of two songs, M.C., and Andrew, both of whom have autism. His hobbies include blogging, working out, and traveling. The Rat is his first book.
The Rat follows a profoundly autistic boy who is kidnapped for no apparent reason. Years later that same boy, now a highly trained operative for a covert government agency, sees something while on assignment that triggers a memory of his mother and his home. Without benefit of being able to communicate verbally, he begins a perilous journey where he must navigate over 900 miles of terrain while avoiding capture.