Today in the Library we have Miriam Drori, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.
You are very welcome, Miriam, please introduce yourself:
Hello Pam and thank you for hosting me in the Library. I was born and brought up in London, UK and now live in Jerusalem, Israel. We have three grown-up children, two of whom still live at home. In the past, I worked with computers, first as a programmer and later as a technical writer. Now I write more interesting pieces. I also edit novels by other authors and have been lucky enough to have encountered some very talented authors through this work. My hobbies include folk dancing, walking, touring and of course reading.
Did you read much as a child? Are you an avid reader now? Do you prefer books in your own genre or are you happy to explore others?
I didn’t read much as a child. As a late developer, always the youngest in the class, I was made to read books I wasn’t ready for, and that made me think reading, and hence writing, wasn’t for me. Now I enjoy reading, but I never learned to read quickly. This might be one of the factors that have made me a good editor, as slow reading is required to notice errors, but it also takes me longer to get through a book.
Since joining Crooked Cat Publishing, I have explored new genres. I’ve discovered, for instance, that ancient history can provide a much more interesting backdrop to a novel than I had thought possible.
Are you self-published or traditionally published?
I was fortunate enough to have my novel, Neither Here Nor There, published by Crooked Cat Publishing.
Which genre do you write in and why?
Neither Here Nor There is a romance. The novels I’ve been working on since it was published are not all romances. The last one, which might be the first to see light of day, is historical and follows the fictional life of a real model in a painting.
Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?
That’s so hard to answer. It could be the mentor of my writing group. I joined his group when I was just starting out as a writer, and he taught me a lot. It could be the friend who told me about social anxiety disorder, because the ambition to raise awareness of it was the reason why I began writing. It could be the two friends who encouraged me and helped to polish the novel that was eventually published. It could be people I’ve never met – authors such as Ian McEwan, Naomi Ragen, Khaled Hosseini, Kazuo Ishiguro and many others.
Has your country of origin/culture influenced your writing?
Definitely. Being English, being Jewish – both have had a huge influence on my writing, as has my current country of residence. While I don’t think it’s essential to write what you know, these are the areas where I find I have the most to say.
What part of the writing process do you find most difficult? How do you overcome it?
Possibly writing descriptions. I’m no artist and don’t always look closely enough to see the details, but I’ve been working on doing just that.
Do you have a favourite time of day to write?
I’m more wide awake in the morning, but if I have something important to say, it doesn’t matter what time it is.
What is the best thing about being an author? And the flipside – what is the worst?
Online and offline, I get to meet interesting people who like books, whether other authors or people who love to read. The worst thing has to be that it doesn’t pay well unless you’re famous, which I’m not… yet.
Is social media an essential chore or something you enjoy? Which forum do you prefer?
I enjoy social media. To be honest, I enjoy it particularly because it gives me a chance to chat to people on a level, whereas face to face I’m always at a disadvantage. I suppose I like Facebook the best because of its immediacy and the ease of attracting others who want to chat, but I also like blogging.
If you weren’t an author, what would you be up to?
I would probably still be doing technical writing and looking forward to retirement. I would particularly be hoping for time to make some of the wonderful trips I’ve been on recently.
It’s the last day and the earth is facing oblivion – what book would you read?
Something humorous so that I can die laughing. P.G. Wodehouse would fit the bill.
Please tell us about your latest published work.
Neither Here Nor There is a romance with a difference. Set mostly in Jerusalem and partly in London, it follows Esty, who has just escaped from the ultra-orthodox community that has been hers up to now. The escape itself takes minutes, her arrival at a new home on the outside, hours. But the process of fitting into that other world is much longer and involves several traumatic scenes. Meeting and falling in love with a young man while all this is going on makes the process easier in some ways and harder in others.