Back in June, Ronnie Fassberg invited me to speak before her Brandeis Book Study Group and I am delighted that I had the opportunity to do so. What a wonderful, bright, energetic and full of questions group of women this turned out to be. The meeting was held this past Wednesday in Stuart, at the Temple Beit Ha Yam. When I arrived the ladies were in their seats and ready to start. They had numerous questions about the process of writing – no, I don’t follow an outline, and yes, I know the beginning and end of the story before I start. (It’s the three-hundred pages in-between that gives an author severe headaches and sleepless nights.) For those of you who are not yet familiar with my work, I don’t write plot-driven stories, in my novels it’s the character who drives the action…and sometimes these characters lead me to a place I hadn’t actually thought of going. Writing a book of this nature can be considerably more difficult, but the work is worth it because readers see these characters as real people. They identify with them, laugh with them and yes, even cry with them.
In addition to understanding the writing process, the Brandeis ladies wanted to hear about the pros and cons of the publishing industry, and Iwas duely impressed with a lawyer in the audience who shared an excellent tip regarding law firms who specialize in Literary Contract Law. Of course, I added a few family stories about my southern mama and wayward sister, plus some tales of my own escapades – that’s always the fun part. The afternoon ended with considerable laughter and a good time was had by all – including me.
This Book Study Group is a fund-raising program with the proceeds going to Brandeis University. The complete program includes study groups in a number of disciplines, excursions and athletic groups. It covers a span of approximately six months and offers something for everyone. Kudos to Ronnie Fassberg for putting this program together!