Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am a writer, speaker and teacher.
My first book was “She Does Not Fear the Snow,” my story of coming to faith in a Jerusalem church where, as a Jew, I thought I wasn’t supposed to be. It was a Munce 2012 prizewinner and became an Amazon #1 bestseller. I came to faith in the Land of Israel and was blessed with a new husband of faith, like biblical Ruth. The title is inspired by Proverbs 31, a line from the description of the attributes of a good woman. It seemed an especially good fit for my title because my husband is a Canadian: actually, though, it’s a bit of a fib. I am afraid of the snow.
I also devised the “Disciples Indeed Workbook,” which helps people tell their faith stories.
“Love Triangles, Discovering Jesus the Jew in Today’s Israel” is kind of a sequel to “She Does Not Fear the Snow” since it deals with the two years Butch, my husband, and I spent in Israel, following our marriage. It was a time full of joys in meeting Jesus in every stunning landscape but also challenges, since Israel and its people do not like Jews who believe in Jesus.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
When I was 55, Jesus grabbed me in a Jerusalem church where, as a Jew, I thought I wasn’t supposed to be. He blessed me abundantly. He brought me miraculously from that church where I had gone, broken after cancer and a failed marriage and business, to a new husband of faith. I had to write “She Does Not Fear the Snow”.
A year after our marriage, my husband and I moved to Israel where we lived for 2 years. I just had to write about that too. “Love Triangles, Discovering Jesus the Jew in Today’s Israel” is my latest book. It’s about the joys of meeting Jesus in every lovely landscape and the challenges of living as a “defector” from Judaism in the Jewish state amongst my fellow Jews.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
The most unusual thing about my writing I think is that I think I may have created a new genre: investigative memoir. This is the genre I attribute to “Love Triangles, Discovering Jesus the Jew in Today’s Israel” because it is as much a reflection of my interests as of my story.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I have discerned strands of investigative memoir in Susan Orlean’s “The Orchid Thief”. My approach to creative non-fiction has been inspired by Laura Hillenbrand’s “Seabiscuit” and my favorite memoir is Derek Prince’s “Appointment in Jerusalem”.
This does not stop Daphne du Maurier being my favorite all-time writer.
What are you working on now?
I am full time on marketing my latest book, “Love Triangles, Discovering Jesus the Jew in Today’s Israel”. I have learned that writers must be marketeers if they wish to remain writers.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Running a free Kindle weekend for your book can help to create a buzz if you announce the free weekend widely on sites such as My Book Place.
You need to choose a category listing that fits your book but that is not too competitive so that you can hit #1 or close to #1 in their bestseller list as the Kindle goes free.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Nothing is more valuable than a good editor who will tell you everything that is wrong and confusing about your book.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Every story is character-driven. The character is always faced with a problem. This applies for all writing including non-fiction, with the possible exception of instruction manuals.
What are you reading now?
Marketing books and looking forward very much to getting to read Jane Christmas’s “And Then There Were Nuns”.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I plan to spend the next twelve months focusing on marketing “Love Triangles, Discovering Jesus the Jew in Today’s Israel”. I have a fiction work in the wings, also about Israel, that I hope to get out and rework at the same time. It’s called “Being Lena Levi” and it deals with a teenager who finds her mother is not “Mum”. Instead, a holocaust survivor now living in Israel is her mother. The story takes place in 1950 so we are talking about the very early years of the new State of Israel.
What is your favorite book of all time?
I love Daphne du Maurier’s “Rebecca” because it is so mysterious and atmospheric. Du Maurier was a master at suspense and setting. “Rebecca” has glaring faults and I have to forgive them because I love the book so. (What are the faults? The protagonist hears the climax from someone else as hearsay. There are metaphors that would be outside of the experience of the protagonist but were known to du Maurier: an empty stage, sailing a boat.)