Today, I’m joined by the lovely Miriam Drori, to talk about her writing.
Thank you so much, Jen, for having me on your blog today. Fire away!
Tell me about your latest / current release. In my romance, Neither Here Nor There, set mostly in modern-day Jerusalem and partly in London, the heroine has just escaped from her family and the ultra-orthodox community in which she was brought up. She thinks the worst is now behind her and doesn’t realise how difficult the transition to her chosen lifestyle will be. The novel was published nearly two years ago and readers are probably wondering when I’m going to release another novel. Well, there are at least three in different stages of progress, and I’m hoping one of them will be out this year, but I’m not promising.
Fingers crossed for you! Do you use real or imagined settings? Or both? If both, which do you prefer? My settings have all been real. In Neither Here Nor There, I knew the settings well. But in my current WIP, the settings don’t really exist any more and I haven’t even visited their modern versions, so I had to do a lot of research to make my writing realistic.
Tell me about your research process – are you able to stay focused, or do you get distracted easily by new, interesting snippets or facts? I do go off on a tangent, sometimes. But generally I know my time is limited and it’s not too hard to stay focused. For my current WIP, much of which takes place during the Holocaust, I found the library at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem’s Holocaust remembrance centre, to be excellent. As it happens, Yad Vashem is within easy walking distance of our house.
Do you include real people in your writing? If so, who has been your most / least favourite? No, I haven’t written about real people, yet.
If you could have written the back catalogue, or even just one novel, or any other writer, who would it be, and why? “If you could” questions are tricky. What I answer today might not be what I would answer tomorrow. Tomorrow, I might even look at today’s answer and fail to understand how I could have given such a ridiculous answer. But today, the answer I’m thinking of is this: I would like to have written any debut novel that became an overnight sensation. Then, presumably, I would never have to do any more marketing. Of course, when I say, “any debut novel,” I don’t quite mean that. I can think of some I wouldn’t want to be associated with!
If you could visit any historical event or period (as a witness only, no interfering!), which would it be, and why? Just now, because I’m vaguely thinking of setting a novel in 13th century York, that’s the period and place I’d like to visit. I want to see for myself how the people lived all those centuries ago. It would make the writing so much easier!
And how about ‘re-writing’ the history books? Which single event would you rework, how and why? That’s an easy “if you could”. Hitler’s mother has a miscarriage. Hitler isn’t born. I don’t think I need to say why.
Well, no. Finally, and hopefully on a happier note, you’re allowed a whole afternoon with anyone from history – who would you choose, and what would you discuss? There are so many to choose from. My current thinking is to plump for Golda Meir, former Prime Minister of Israel. We could discuss why it is that she is so well loved, even now, despite having made grave mistakes, and why a certain other deceased female Prime Minister is very much disliked. I imagine she would also have a lot to say about the current leaders around the world.
Miriam Drori left London at the age of twenty-three and lived briefly in the south and the north of Israel before marrying and settling down in Jerusalem to raise two sons and a daughter. Following professions in computer programming and technical writing, she now spends her time writing creatively and editing.
Miriam began writing in order to raise awareness of social anxiety. Since then, the scope of her writing has widened, but she has never lost sight of her original goal.