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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Big News

I have wonderful news that I am announcing for the first time. In a couple of weeks I am launching an on-line magazine called The Jewel Box. I am very excited about this new venture. I have been working on it for months and I am very close to completion. It will be a magazine devoted to collectors of Vintage Jewelry. It is also about Heritage Jewelry which is very near and dear to my heart. It will come out every other month. I will give everyone more information as I get closer to the launch but I am sooooo excited about it.

My new ad is up from Valley Scene it is kind of cool to have an ad both on the west coast in this paper and on the east coast in The Boston Review. It gives people who do not have a computer or time to look at one, a chance to see that my book is available and buy it. Please check it out at; .

I will be having a new article coming out in the Working Writer later this month. I will give you the link when it is available for everyone to see. I am also working on a couple of other projects that when it gets firmer I will tell you all about it. It is exciting that things are finally popping for me. May they keep popping:)

My new interview is with Ellen Brazer she is an award winning writer for her new book Clouds Across The Sun. She has graciously agreed to join us for a interview;

What was the first book you remember loving? Do you still own it?

The first book I ever loved reading was Leon Uris' Exodus. Actually it was the first book I ever willingly read that some teacher had not assigned to me. Uris opened my eyes to Israel and to the courage of a people struggling to survive after the Holocaust. Later in my life, Leon Uris came to Miami as a speaker, and I hosted him for the entire day. I can still picture him, black leather jacket, jeans and boots. He was one really cool guy and yes, I still own the book.

What kind of books do you like to read? Do those books have an affect on your writing?

The first requirement I have from a book is that it is going to take me to a place I have not been before and that I am going to learn something from reading that book. The subject has to be intriguing and the writing excellent and the reason is simple; it does affect my writing. When I am reading a great book my own words just seem to surface in a gentler manner.

Of all your work what is your personal favorite?

Clouds Across The Sun is a work that I am very proud of. I love that all the reviewers say the same thing, they couldn't put it down. Yet, how can i not also love Hearts of Fire? That is my baby!

Do you have a favorite character that you created?

I don't mean to be evasive but I really don't. I love all my characters. I had a great challenge when I had to tap into the evil side of humanity. So while I hate who the bad people in my novels represent, I had an interesting time birthing them. Most of my characters are based on the real life stories of people that I have known. Perhaps that is why I find it impossible to tell you my favorite.

What is your favorite character and book from another writer?

I loved the psychic and good witch Ellen from Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth.

Do you prefer one genre' to another?

I love good historical fiction. Although my new most favorite book in the entire world is Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.

What inspired you to write? Who was your biggest inspiration?

I was waiting for some medical test results to come back. I was extremely successful in business when I was very young and while waiting for that phone call I asked myself what mountain had I yet to climb. The answer for me was writing a book. I have a dear friend who is a Pulitzer Prize winner. When I wrote my first draft of Hearts Of Fire I pressed the caps lock key on the computer and wrote the entire first draft in capital letters with almost no punctuation. It was my writing friend who said, there is something here and you must keep going. That first book took me 10 years to write. The manuscript went from under the bed, to the closet and then back under the bed again. A doctor friend took it on a ski vacation and he was the one that finally got me to become serious about getting the book published.

Can you tell us about what your working on now?

I am writing a historical novel that takes place in the year 135 of the common era. It was a time period when the Jews believed that Shimon Bar Kockba was the Messiah. Following him, they managed to defeat Rome and for a three year period Israel was under the control of the Jews. And So It Was Written is the story of two brothers, one who becomes a famous physician in Rome and the other becomes a commander in the Jewish Army. There are some very unique and controversial elements to this book that I am keeping close to the vest so stay tuned. I am in the process of rewriting and I hope to be finished within the year.

Thank you for joining us, Ellen and telling us about your wonderful writing. If you would like to look into her work her website is; .

If you would like to ask a question or just say hello:) please tweet me at @rithebard or if you would like to speak to me about anything please email me at .

Breaking news: I will be signing books on June 25th at the Paws For Troops event in Sherman Oaks! Every cent is for chaity please go to web site for charity for details;

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