My oldest friend remembers me telling stories when I was five years old, but I didn’t decide to be a writer until I was ten. That was when I discovered not all authors were dead. Then I grew up and managed what every aspiring writer longs for–I became an accountant.
But accounting was good for me. It helped me count every penny in terms of how much writing time it could buy me. And so I shared a flat and lived in a garret and wrote my first novel. When it made a splash, I quit accounting and didn’t look back.
The secret of my work is that, however far apart in theme or time, my characters are always teaching me what I need to learn. I’ve known trauma–so have they, using their experience to bring others out of darkness. I’ve been scarred by history, my own and the world’s (my parents are holocaust survivors), and my scarred characters are also beautiful, finding courage in friendship and making their lives anew.
I’m not good at knitting or sewing but I do both. I can’t cook and don’t. I was a young woman when I started writing my first novel and had no family. I’ve got grey hair now and two grown daughters, but there’s another book in the works because my characters aren’t done reaching through me to others. That’s the beauty of stories. They’re mine and yours and theirs, something new each time.