Her life gets complicated when she falls in love with detective Nick Rossi. Convinced Nick’s wrong for her—he’s not Jewish for one thing—she walks away after they share a night of passion. Nick warns her even though he loves her, he won’t beg. Their budding relationship seems to have ended.
When Rebekkah finds herself staring at a positive pregnancy test, she wavers between joy and sadness. Motherhood wasn’t supposed to happen this way.
I asked her a few questions to get to know the writer in her better. Here's a slice. I hope you enjoy :)
Tell us a little about your book – inspiration, why you wrote it, etc.
The Art Of Being Rebekkah is about a talented Jewish artist, who finds out her husband has a frightening dark side, and wants out of her marriage; but her life gets complicated when she moves back to her parents’ home in Park Slope, Brooklyn and falls for the charming Italian detective who’s investigating her estranged husband. Convinced he’s all wrong for her—he’s not Jewish for one thing — Rebekkah struggles with love, faith, family, and a surprise pregnancy.
I wanted to write something that the market wasn’t already saturated with (like vampires); there isn’t a lot of Jewish women’s fiction out there.
Why should one read your book?
It illustrates the female journey, is character driven, emotional, and suspenseful.
Are characters/story based on real life?
Only loosely! I love making up lives for my characters, I don’t want to pull from my own life, or anyone else’s.
Some writers tend to segment their writing life into a reading phase and a writing phase. Do you do that? How do you manage it?
I usually write a big chunk, then go back and re-read, then repeat the process. When you’re writing a novel, at least for me, there’s a lot re-reading, so I can remember who said what, when.
How do you write – techniques, outlines, tools, drinks, drugs, food, clothes or lack thereof...?
First, I outline. My outline changes as I go, but I can’t write without one. I do my outline on software called Snowflake Pro, but actually write in Word. I do wear clothing, and my drink of choice is Coke! My snack is Goldfish crackers, or chocolate.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Why?
Is this a trick question? I have to say Humeira Kazmi and Shamila Ghyas. I just read their book, Aoife and Demon: Cursed be the Syhlain. I don’t read fantasy, and they captured my interest, and held it. You should read it!
What are your current projects?
A cozy mystery set in upstate New York.
Do you see writing as a career?
Hopefully, one day! Before I’m too old…
Why be a Writer?
Because, I hate math and have a very vivid imagination, which lends itself well to story-telling! I love making up characters and turning them into multi-dimensional people.
How do people react to your ‘writer’ job title?
Some are thrilled, some are “meh”, some want to know if they can have a free copy, some apparently have no idea of what reading actually is, and some regard me as a goddess. I made one of those up…
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Time management is huge; sometimes too, I get a big case of writers block, and I can’t make a scene work well. That’s when I blog, or update Pinterest, stuff like that.
How hard was it to get where you are today as a writer?
I didn’t start to seriously write until later in life (after twenty-five we’ll say for laughs---you don’t have to actually laugh). I took two courses through Long Ridge Writers Group, and I started getting short stories published. The hardest part was querying for an agent after my novel was done. I am so luck to be represented by Frances Black of Literary Council. She’s wonderful. But, what else would I say, right? She could be reading this. Kidding, she really is wonderful.
Your book cover is very refreshing. Who designed it? Why does this cover work for your book, in your opinion?
Thank you, Humi! It was designed by talented illustrator, Martin Blanco. It works because it shows who Rebekkah is; an artist who finds her happily ever after, despite a bumpy journey getting there.
Are your character names important to you?
Yes! Fair or not, certain names conjure up certain images. My book’s main characters, Rebekkah and Nick, would not work as Harriet and Elmer!
Did you learn anything from writing your book?
Yes. Writing a book is not for the faint of heart. And, no matter how many times you look at your manuscript, you’re still going to find way too many people sighing deeply, way too often. Ok, that might just be my issue.
Any bad reviews? How do handle them?
My book will be out December 9th, and since this is November, I have not had any bad reviews yet! But, let’s say I get one or two, from disgruntled people who obviously don’t appreciate a good story when they read one. Probably feel really bad for a couple of minutes, then move on to a good review!
Can you share a little of your current work with us? Your favorite excerpt.
Thank you for asking. It’s not my favorite; I had a hard time picking my favorite! Here you go:
The majestic tile mosaic of Jerusalem on the walls surrounding the mikveh was a reminder to Rebekkah of her heritage, and made her feel a kinship to all other Jews.
She ducked under the water, and felt her soul go still as she offered prayers to God. She spread her arms and legs and left her eyes open. Her hair floated around her like seaweed, and she heard nothing from the outside world. This must be what it feels like to be in the womb, Rebekkah thought.
Yanna left her alone to recite in Hebrew as she immersed herself, “Praised are you, Adoshem, God of all creation, who sanctifies us with your commandments and commanded us concerning immersion.” She ducked beneath the water twice more, and took a few minutes to ask God to open her womb.
When she was through she returned to the prep room to dress. Thinking of Avram, she slipped on her new lace teddy. She knew he would love it. The rest of her anger seeped out as she thought of his body joining with hers to create a new life. Just as her body was now ready for him, she wanted her spirit to be ready. She didn’t want anger to serve as a barrier to a new life.
She was born in upstate New York and has lived in South America, Indiana, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. At the moment, she lives in a small Connecticut town with her husband. When she’s not writing, she loves reading, spending time by the water, traveling, and doing anything that has nothing to do with math.
She’s currently working on her second novel, a cozy mystery set in upstate N.Y.