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An Interview with Miriam Drori

It is my great pleasure to welcome my friend and fellow author, Miriam Drori back to the blog to discuss her new book, Loyalty and the Learner, and writing in general. Thank you for taking time to chat with me, Miriam.

Hello Val, and thank you for inviting me onto your blog again.

What inspired you to write your most recent book, Loyalty and the Learner?

Loyalty and the Learner is the second in my cosy crime series of Jerusalem Murder Mysteries. One inspiration for the series was the desire to write a character who lives with social anxiety. In the first novel, he is arrested for a crime he didn’t commit and is unable to speak up for himself at the interrogation. In the second, he has come a long way but stills struggles in social situations.

Another inspiration is the city I lived in for most of my life before my recent move to Tel Aviv. It’s a city of diverse views and residents, and I love to explore it along with my characters.

Who is your favourite character in this book and why?

As with my children, I don’t have favourites, but I’m very proud of Nathalie, a recent immigrant from France. She’s strong and feisty, and has overcome several obstacles to becoming acclimatised in her chosen country. Sometimes, her strong will could also be her downfall…

What was the first piece you had published?

A short story called Who Sees the Light?. It was published in the charity anthology, 100 Stories for Queensland in 2011. I was thrilled when my story saw the light!

Do you have another story planned or in progress? When can we expect to see that?

I think my next publication will be a collection of short stories, possibly in October. I have started the third in the series of Jerusalem Murder Mysteries, but I’ve been busy with other things, so it’ll take a while.

Who is your favourite author?

This is one of those questions I answer in a different way each time I’m asked. This time, I’ll go with Fredrik Backman. I love his blend of humour and poignancy in A Man Called Ove. I need to read more of his books.

What do you like to do when you’re not planning or writing your next book?

I like to read, walk and dance. From my current abode, I go to meet the sea every day. Once a week, I stride along the promenade to an outdoor folk dancing session, and hobble back afterwards!

When did you know you wanted to write novels?

When I was fifty, I began writing a non-fiction book. It was only when I finished it, maybe two years later, that I had the idea of writing fiction. Even then, I didn’t believe I had the imagination necessary to write a whole novel. Somehow, I persevered and managed to excavate a creative streak from the depths of my brain. The non-fiction book was eventually published years later. It’s called Social Anxiety Revealed.

Do you write in other genres?

Besides cosy crime and non-fiction, I have written romance (currently unavailable) and uplit. For an explanation of the uplit genre, see my blog post on the topic. I still write short stories, several of which have been included in anthologies. My latest publication is an essay called Words that Fail and Words that Flow in the anthology Loss from Pure Slush.

What do you like most about being an author?

I like being able to express myself in writing – something I find much harder in conversation. I like knowing that other people find enjoyment from reading my words. I like being part of the warm and welcoming community of authors. On the last point, I love being a member of Ocelot Press, which is a co-operative of independent authors and also a group of warm and supportive friends.

Do you have a specific routine for writing?  Is there a special place or particular tool you use?

I enjoy occasionally meeting up with other authors to write together, but I write best on my own, mostly at home. I try to keep to a routine of saving my mornings for writing. It doesn’t always work out.

What advice do you have for other writers?

Write what brings you satisfaction. Keep editing until you’re sure it’s the best you can make it; then prepare to work on the manuscript again after receiving feedback. All authors get bad reviews; ignore them and concentrate on the good ones.

The Blurb

Once again, Asaf is suspected of murder, but he’s soon released when the victim’s wife, Lihi, is arrested. Nathalie, now engaged to Asaf, is certain of Lihi’s innocence, and is determined to find the real murderer.

As Nathalie, Asaf and friends stumble along the path to achieving their goal, with a little inspiration from Molière, Hillel and Adenauer, they discover new places in Jerusalem and also venture west and north. Despite experiencing fear, sadness and other painful emotions, they never lose their sense of humour – and find that sharing their worries helps them pull through.

While some questions are answered on the way, new ones take their place. But what about the original question: Who killed Ofir? And how much is Nathalie willing to put at risk in order to solve this mystery? Her relationship? Her life?

Loyalty and the Learner is available for pre-order from Amazon. It will also be available in paperback from Amazon and other online stores.

The Author

Miriam Drori, author, editor and social anxiety warrior, worked as a computer programmer and a technical writer before turning her attention to full-time writing. Her novels and short stories cover several genres, including crime, romance and uplit. She has also written a non-fiction book about social anxiety.

Born and raised in London, Miriam lived for most of her life in Jerusalem, where her cosy crime mysteries are set, and recently moved west to enjoy the seaside city of Tel Aviv. She has travelled widely, putting her discoveries to good use as settings in her writing. Her characters are not based on real people, but rather are formed from an amalgam of the many and varied individuals who have embellished her life.

You can find Miriam at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bookbub, YouTubewebsite/blog

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