Author: LESLY AUERBACH
Author’s website address: www.outskirtspress.com/auerbachfragments
Published books by the Author: Fragments
Books in Process: Fish Psychology & Popcorn Underwear, A Poetry Collection:
Beautiful Intelligent Talented Chick with Heart (working title)
1.When and why did you begin writing?
If memory serves me correctly, I entered a Bicentennial essay contest in second grade and won second place. I remember thinking that this writing thing had the awesome benefit of getting me some much-needed attention. From junior high through my early twenties, I began writing poems and short stories as an outlet for things I couldn’t or wouldn’t say out loud. Then I stopped writing altogether. In my late twenties, I decided that I had a lot more to say, and so began an avalanche of words that has only recently slowed down.
2. What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve had the feeling of this story in the back of my mind for years and finally decided to put it on paper instead of ignoring it. I did, however, have to change my mindset first from that of "only people who really knew what they were doing wrote books," to "why not me?" Once that was done, it was fairly easy to proceed.
3. How did you approach writing your first book?
I was getting hung up with transitions on another project when I started writing this book. Since each "scene" in Fragments was presenting itself to me as a stand-alone memory, I said to hell with it—leave ‘em out for now. The story wrote itself—one memory triggering another, then necessary connections made between each to create a more rounded character and storyline.
4. Who or what influenced your writing?
Speaking about this book only, I was influenced by a certain feeling that I wanted to capture on paper—a little dark, a little depressed, raw, lost, but always with at least a tinge of hope around the edges. To that end, I wrote about real people and some of their experiences, taking creative liberties at every turn to create a coherent story.
5. Why do you continue to write?
I don’t really have a choice, it keeps choosing me. The few times that I’ve completely stopped writing creatively, it came out as compulsive list making. I might as well make it a little more interesting than that, dontcha think? Of course, on the less-flip side, I continue writing to continue making connections, both with myself and with other people. Having just one person say, "I get it," is my ultimate payoff.
6. What do you hope to accomplish through your writing?
Connections. I want that farmer in the Midwest and that fashion photographer in New York to "get" what I’m trying to say—both relating first to the story and then to each other.
7. What has been your experience as a published writer?
Apart from the initial congratulatory support from friends and family, I feel like I’m working in a bubble. At this particular point in the process, I have no idea if what I’m doing is working yet. On a personal level, however, it’s satisfying and just plain cool to see my work in print and available for others at their leisure.
8. How do you promote your book(s)?
I’ve been implementing a few of the tools Amazon offers to promote my book. Additionally, I’ve been using my publisher-supplied webpage, press release distribution, book reviews, and word of mouth to get my book some attention. Another outlet I’ve found for my promotional efforts is actually using the MySpace website. More than just a place for teens to play and predators looking for prey, this is a great networking tool, especially when the blog feature is utilized.
9. What advice would you like to share with other writers?
Don’t let anyone make you feel inadequate about your writing. Know the rules and then feel free to break them—intentionally, not from laziness. Enjoy the creativity; don’t get bogged down in the academic side of the process—that’s what editors are for.
Thank you, Lesly.
Interviewer: Kaye Trout - May 23, 2006 - Copyright