Thursday, June 27, 2013

How I Found My Editor

After I finished writing, revising, and polishing my manuscript - a suspense novel set in Bulgaria - and after receiving very few responses from the many literary agents I had queried, I decided to take my next step in a completely independent direction. The world of publishing had changed, making it easier than ever to self-publish. I had read the success stories of indie authors and I was convinced that I could follow in their footsteps. 

Before I clicked the submit button to make my novel available to the public, I had to be totally convinced that it was in the best possible shape, free of embarrassing punctuation and  grammar mistakes. I had reviewed the text repeatedly, but I no longer could see sections requiring further revision. I needed the assistance of a professional editor.

How would I find a suitable editor, one who would connect with my fiction and provide professional assistance and advice at a reasonable price?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Stories from the Heart of Israel

I previously posted an interview with Ayelet Tsabari but only now had the chance to read her debut collection of short stories, The Best Place on Earth. In that interview I questioned whether an author living in Toronto, writing in English, could be considered an Israeli author. Having read the eleven stories in this collection I have no doubt as to the answer. Not only is Ayelet Tsabari an Israeli author, but her stories are compelling and compassionate; they speak out from the heart of Israeli society and experiences.

In “Tikkun,” the opening story, two former lovers reunite in a Jerusalem café. Lior immediately notices that Natalie has changed. “‘Dossit,’” she says, completing his sentence and confirming the reason why she is “covering her hair, wearing a skirt down to her ankles and a long-sleeved shirt on a summer day.” Seven years since she became religious, he learns, since right after they broke up and went separate ways.

Lior and Natalie had fallen in love during the nineties. “The Gulf War was over, Rabin was elected prime minister and everyone thought peace was possible… Now, more than a decade later, Rabin is dead after being assassinated at a peace really; suicide bombers explode in buses and cafes.”

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Valley of Thracians Selected as Thriller of the Month

Valley of Thracians, my suspense novel set in Bulgaria, was called a "psychologically astute thriller" and selected as a "Thriller of the Month" for June on, a website devoted to reviewing and recommending the best thrillers for Kindles and/or other e-reader devices.

The novel "is a sober, psychologically astute thriller set in an exotic part of the world – ancient civilizations and artifacts, corrupt smugglers and personal flaws and secrets are a potent mix in this one," the website's review said.

The reviewer on the website concluded her review by writing, "We are absorbed in this culture and by the story. Very impressive."

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Aroma of Tel Aviv's Coffee House Culture

I am writing these lines on my laptop as I sip my morning cappuccino. Like many who work in Ramat Gan's Bursa district, my day begins with a cup of steaming hot coffee professionally prepared; there are many coffee shops and cafes in the neighborhood. Some people linger over their coffee, catching up on iPhone messages and answering emails; while others, like me, pull out their laptops and type away, undisturbed by the grinding of coffee beans; the hiss of steam escaping as milk is heated; and the swish of credit cards as orders are recorded.

Go back twenty five years. The fictitious Café Nevo of the Barbara Rogan novel of the same name is the "oldest and certainly the grungiest of the Dizengoff cafés". The coffee shop, originally established by two enterprising Polish brothers, attracts not only common workers, but "writers, actors, and artists who by virtue of their socialist ideology styled themselves members of the proletariat, but who in fact constituted the Tel Aviv elite of their day".

"If they were that good they’d be working,” one of the characters of the novel says of Café Nevo's clientele. “Nobody with any serious work to do hangs out in cafés".