Today I have a special treat for you. I have author, Bobbi Lerman, here with us to talk about her debut release, “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” in the Holiday Box Set, “Season of Magic.” Please help me welcome her to Nights of Passion.
NOP: Please tell our readers about yourself (nothing personal). What do you usually write and what do you like to read?
Bobbi: I love to write medieval historical. The early fourteenth century is my preferred period, Scotland/England is the setting I’m most interested in, though, every once in a while I like to veer off and write a contemporary or a story set in the Regency period. My other passion as far as writing is travel essay.
I read everything, from historical romance, suspense, murder mystery, mainstream woman’s fiction, non-fiction, history, travel. If its interesting, if it has a good story than I want to read it. I recently finished reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and am now reading The Deer Effect by Susan Wingate
NOP: How has what you enjoy reading influenced your writing?
Bobbi: I’m not sure what I read consciously influences, me. I do know that reading makes me a better writer. I’m of the firm belief, that to be a good writer, you need to be a voracious reader.
NOP: I read the series and found your Hanukkah story heartwarming and so funny. What inspired you to write it and do you come from a family like Molly’s?
Bobbi: My mom and several of my aunts/cousins loved to play matchmaker, though they was nowhere near as successful as Tillie in the story. They were more like the Unholy Trio! As far as is my family like Molly’s? Hmmmm, lets just say I didn’t have to do a lot of research to come up with the character’s.
NOP: I see that the box set offers a recipe with each story. What are some of your favorite holiday goodies?
Bobbi: Well for Chanukah, I love potato latkes with homemade applesauce. (My dad made the best latkes in the world) Unlike Molly and Ben in the story, I love cabbage soup, which is traditional fare for this particular holiday. However, the Sufganiyot (deep fried jelly doughnuts I put in at the end of the story? My favorite!
NOP: What are some of your holiday traditions and how do they play a part in your story?
Bobbi: At home I light the menorah (I have one that I got when I lived in Israel for a year when I was 18. I have a few favorite CD’s with holiday music, I always put on. However the fun of the holiday is when the whole family, aunts, uncles, cousins, get together for a family Chanukah party every year. At sunset we light the menorah and sing the Chanukah prayers/blessing of the lit candles. We have a large, delicious dinner. Every year it’s a battle to get the Latkes out on the table because people are eating them as they are cooked. The little ones play the dreidel game (for chocolates). After dinner there are lots and lots of presents exchanged. And then we have dessert, after which everyone is usually in a food coma, LOL.
NOP: I know that you do travel blogs. How is the writing process different when writing a short novella?
Bobbi: The writing process is the same for both (at least for me). Both the travel essay and a short story, novella or full-length novel need a beginning, middle and end. The only difference is the travel piece is based on actual events, places, people I have experience first hand and the novella is peopled with characters and events wholly from my imagination.
Writing a travel piece is always in the first person (at least for me) and it’s based on actual events, places, people so it’s just a matter of laying it out.
NOP: Please tell us about your writing process. Do you plot it all out first, or just write as you go?
Bobbi: I know the main characters and a loose idea of the whole of the story. I have the first chapter and the last chapter worked out I write the ending right after I write the opening, other than that, the middle is the surprise.
NOP: What is the easiest part of writing? What’s the hardest?
Bobbi: The easiest for me is writing the beginning, the opening hook, getting all the character’s introduced and on the page. The hardest part; where I work full time, finding the time to write.
NOP: Where did you come up with the name “Tilly” and can we expect to see more from her?
Bobbi: My mom’s name was Tillie and I thought giving her name as the matchmaker was a wonderful way to honor her memory.
Yes, I’m working on a valentine novella that features Tillie!
NOP: Can we have a short excerpt from your story?
From the corner of her eye Tillie spotted the flash of red sprint toward the emergency room entrance. Long wavy hair, the color of deep, burnt copper streamed out behind the woman. Light blue animal printed pants, scrubs the hospital people called them, peeked out from beneath her long coat as her white sneakered feet pounded the pavement. From the way she moved, the woman emanated a no-nonsense demeanor, her expression holding not even the smallest hint of a smile. She could sense the thick, hard protective shell covering the woman’s heart from where she sat.
First stopping to help a woman navigate her wheelchair up the incline of the ramp to where the doors of the emergency room whooshed open, Tillie watched as her potential rescue paused at the threshold, hesitated and turned her gaze toward Tillie. Their eyes locked. With one instantaneous glimpse into the woman’s dark, stormy eyes, Tillie could see that despite the well of disappointment, hurt and betrayal reflected in them, a tiny fleck of hope survived as well. And, in that one quick, fleeting moment, Tillie knew her waiting time had ended. The decision to take on this assignment was made. After all, eyes the color of a wild sea had to be a sign. Blue was her favorite color after all. Perhaps she had one more Chanukah miracle in her.
NOP: I’m so excited for our followers to read Matchmaker, Matchmaker. It was so funny and heartwarming. I really loved it. But please do tell, what are you working on now?
Bobbi: Right now I’m working on a novella that will be part of another anthology due out for the Valentine holiday. It’s titled Valentine Belle!
Thank you for being here and sharing with us today, Bobbi. For those of you who would like to follow Bobbi, you should know that she is the founder of the Facebook page Scribblers Ink and she welcomes you to join. If you want to follow her, the links are listed below.
Readers if you are interested in getting a copy of her very funny debut novella, Matchmaker, Matchmaker, which is in the box set, Season of Magic, please follow this link.