Hi Dvora! I’m so enjoying getting to know you. Let me start the interview by asking what inspired you to start writing fiction books?
I have always been a writer - short stories, articles, poetry - anything that invoves the written word. I also love reading, so novels were a natural progression for me.
I’ve read that you began writing at age 7! What age were you when you began to write fiction novels? What was your first novel, and how long did it take you to write it?
My first novel was "The Pomegranate Pendant" now a movie titled "The Golden Pomegranate". It came late in life - in1995 - when I was 64. "The Pomegranate Pendant" is a historical novel set in Jerusalem over 100 years ago (in 1882, when the first Jewish Yemenites arrived in the Holy Land to escape their persecution). I had to do a lot of research, and especially about Yemenite jewelry as my heroine is a silversmith. It took me 9 months to write.
“The Pomegranate Pendant” was made into a movie. What was it like to see something that began as an idea in your head actually fleshed-out into reality?
Having it made into a movie was very exciting. It is fairly faithful to my book although certain things were added for dramatic reasons.
I’ve heard some authors say they wished they hadn’t let go of creative control when their book was made into a movie. Did you feel that way? Was it hard to let other people take control of your story?
I had the right of veto and was present on the set for much of the filming - in fact I appear, like Hemingway, in a cameo part - but if you blink, you miss me. I exercised my veto on a rape scene they wanted to include. It held up the filming for a while, but in the end they agreed to delete it.
You’ve certainly had a very interesting life so far, and I can see that some of your books incorporate your experiences into them. After I read “Autumn Blessing” I found myself wondering how much of it was based on your own life. Care to expound on that?
"Autumn Blessing" is pure fiction, except for the name Dorothy which was my name in Australia (Dvora is the Hebrew version). Thankfully I am not a widow and have been married 59 years. But I think all fiction must represent emotions the author has experienced from time to time, or it would not be realistic.
I really enjoyed the way you describe Dorothy as if she were a flower herself, coming out of a dark, dormant phase and gradually responding to light and new growth. Was this a familiar process for you in your own life?
In my long life, I have lived in many places and travelled the world,sometimes on book tours When I was young, I lived a few years in London and Youth Hostelled my way around Europe; I have spent time also in the Far East - Hong Kong, Bangkock and Singapore. But my life took on a new dimension when we came to the spiritual city ofJerusalem. It is a great privilege to live here.
A large portion of American women (the baby-boomers, as we call them) are now around the age of your main character Dorothy. What advice would you give on how best to navigate this stage of life known as the golden years?
The golden years are really a misnomer, for they can't replace youth where every day is a new exciting experience. But if you keep your heart young and take time to look for the dewdrop in the heart of the rose, you will go on finding life to be beautiful.
What is the main idea you want to convey to the reader through Dorothy’s story?
I think that when one door closes, another one opens. We shouldn't cry because it's over, but smile because it happened. Memories should be cherished.
What do you like most, and least about being a writer?
I love everything about being a writer. The joy never leaves me. I am in love with words!
What are you working on now?
A new novel called "Searching for Sarah" set in Jerusalem. It is about a portrait of a young woman found abandoned in a studio and the search for the artist. I am 83 now, so this will probably be my swan song. It is both prose and poetry and I aim to make it memorable if God grants me enough time to complete it.
I pray that He will, and more besides! Thank you so much for doing this interview, Dvora. I'm honored and thrilled to know you. I pray for blessings and safety to you in this challenging time in Jerusalem. May God's protection cover you and all of Israel, and may there soon be peace.
Now, here's a short blurb about "Autumn Blessings."
Autumn can be a desolate season. For Dorothy, after losing her husband, the autumn of her life stretches before her lonely and uncertain. But a change, a new hobby, and new friends prove this new season to be bountiful with blessings.
Be sure to leave a comment, and you'll be entered in the drawing for a free copy of the "Autumn Blessings" e-book.
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