Monday, May 2, 2011

Lauren B. Grossman interview

1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?

Mid-morning is my best time. After I’ve eaten, delivered the children to their programs, ran a few errands – I can then sit down and concentrate with few interruptions. But, there is that rare middle of the night, when I can’t fall back to sleep, that I will go to the computer and write.

2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?

Computer only. I have mild multiple sclerosis and it affects my hands. Nearly impossible to read my scrawl.

3: What do you draw inspiration from?

Life. Human beings interacting with other human beings.

4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?

Word counts count only when I am writing short stories. I did get hung-up on word count in the process of writing my novel, because it is not considered a novel unless it’s over 50,000 words. I found that to be a disdainful rule. I believe the content is what matters and not the amount of words it takes to deliver it. So, initially I added extraneous information, and took away every contraction in the book. After reviewing the story, I found it sounded too formal and replaced most of the contractions. I took out the extraneous information as well, giving my readers credit for having brains to fill in.

5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up with your cover art?

I am both. I have had articled published in newspapers and magazines. My novel was self-published. I did work with a publishing house who aided me along. My cover was a collaboration with them, though it was me who found the image online.

6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?

I have always had a need for creative expression. It began with acting, and then progressed to painting, and then writing. Each segment took a large portion of my life – it wasn’t overnight.

7: Do you own an ebook reading device?

No, but I’m sure it’s in my future. I like the feel and smell of books. I like walking into a bookstore.

8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?

Pat Conroy, Ursela Hegi, Amy Tan, Ken Follett (currently reading “The Fall of Giants”), Tom Robbins.

9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?

In fact I do have one: I’m told that in the one month that it was uploaded, I have had over 500 hits. Of course, that doesn’t mean that 500 people have purchased it. It seems the onus is on the author to do whatever it takes to get noticed. This is just one more avenue.

10: How did you come up with the title of your latest book?

My novel, “Once in Every Generation” is about two women with extraordinary singing voices. When I was 11 years old, my mother made me watch a Barbra Streisand television special. It was Streisand’s third special and she was only 24 at the time. My mother told me something I had never forgotten and often repeated. She said that Barbra Streisand is that phenomenon that happens only once in every generation. And, boy was my mother prophetic.

11: What are you working on now that you can talk about?

I’ve begun research on a woman who survived the Holocaust. In fact, I am going to London with a letter of introduction to get access to the British archives. This survivor was shipped from Germany to England, but ultimately ended up in Israel. What makes her interesting to me is that we share a birthday, but 30 years apart. I guess you could call her my muse!

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