Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
My upbringing is a little funky :-). I was born in Israel but I grew up in America. I have a B.A and an M.A in English and I worked as an online English college instructor and EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher and tutor before I became a full-time writer. I started writing when I was 14 and writing became my voice. I write psychological fiction about characters from the inside out. My debut short story collection is out now in paperback and ebook and I have 3 other projects in the works.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is a short story collection titled Gnarled Bones and Other Stories. I wrote three of the stories – “Mother of Mischief”, “Bracelets” and “Broken Bows” – during a very difficult time in my life. I was going through a family crisis and I had also just moved out of San Francisco to the East Bay. The stories were sort of a spark for me, when I finally got the courage to write about some of the emotional issues that I was going through and the revelations I was having about my family and my life. I was studying feminist psychology and going through therapy as part of my program. I felt that since this was my first book, it would be fitting to start with those three stories.
The two other stories, “A First Saturday Outing” and “Gnarled Bones”, came later in my life, once I worked through some of my demons and stopped trying to fight or avoid them. I felt they could be included because they were more mature works in terms of how they reflected psychological reality.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Not really. I guess one thing that might fall under the category of unusual writing habit is that I have to have an epigraph to work with for the beginning of each book. I sometimes include the epigraph in the final version but most times I don't, mainly because of copyright issues. The epigraph serves as an inspiration and also usually has some aspect of the story or theme that I want to make sure I focus on and reading the epigraph before I start to write each time helps me get into the "mood" of the story.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
The biggest influence on me has been the writer Anais Nin's short story collection "Under a Glass Bell and Other Stories". Nin introduced me to the concepts of psychological reality and poetic prose which I took to in my writing voice and style. I discovered the book at the age of 16 or so and it totally changed my idea of what language can do and what impact stories can have in their psychological complexity.
What are you working on now?
I'm currently working on a novella series called the Waxwood Series which is set in a Northern California resort town. I'm revising (with the help of a great critique group) Book 1, The Order of Actaeon and I'm working on the first draft of the second book, The Claustrophobic Heart. I'm also working on another book titled House of Masks that I started during National Novel Writing Month last year.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I'm still exploring methods and resources for promoting my book, so I can't really say answer that question. But networking with other self-published and indie authors has been vital to me. The indie publishing community is very active, very supportive.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
My best advice would be to go with what you love even if it's not popular or trending or your mother doesn't like it. That's the only way you'll find your own writing voice and style and that's what readers are interested in.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
This isn't specifically writing advice, but my mom always says, "Everything happens for a reason." I try to remember that when things don't go the way I'd like them to or when I'm disappointed about something with my writing. There's a reason why something happened or didn't happen, even if I can't see it and I have to trust that it was what should have or shouldn't have happened.
What are you reading now?
I'm a huge classic literature fan, so I read mostly classics. Right now, I'm reading Thomas Mann's "Death in Venice and Other Stories" and I just started Virginia Woolf's "Night and Day". I also love history, especially women's history, so I'm reading a non-fiction book about notorious women of the Wild West.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Up next for me is to get the first book of my series revised and edited with critiques from my critique group and feedback from a professional editor so that I can get it all polished and ready to publish in early 2018.
What is your favorite book of all time?
It's the same book that had the most influence on me – Anais Nin's "Under a Glass Bell and Other Stories" :-).