Friday, September 5, 2008

Author Q & A with Dalia Sofer

Back in July I participated in the online book club discussion for The Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer over at Everday I Write the Book Blog. I loved the book and was very excited when Gayle posted that she was doing a Q & A with Dalia and asked for reader questions.

Well, she selected a couple of my questions and here is and excerpt of what Dalia had to say. There is a spoiler in the last line of the first question if you haven't read the book.

Q. Shirin's narration was especially compelling and I couldn't help wondering how much of what we saw through her eyes was very closely based on your experiences. I'm dying to know if you actually stole and hid files.

A: Alas, Shirin’s sections are largely imagined—I did not steal any files! But that state of bewilderment and confusion is one that I remember very well. And the passage about absence being very close to death came from a sensation I developed at that time.

Q. Sofer means writer in Hebrew - is this a pen name or a family name you grew into?

A: Sofer is my actual surname. My father is originally from Iraq (and the story goes that my ancestors were biblical scribes!)

I also asked a few more (the one about her writing rituals and adjustment to life in Israel and the US after she and her family fled Iran), but you'll have to read Gayle's post here for the full interview.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Inside the Readers' Studio Meme

I wasn't tagged for this meme, but I liked the questions so I'm jumping in anyway.

What is your favorite word? My favorite word that I've stumbled upon recently is quiddity. It means the essence or "whatness" of something. I also like preternatural and verisimilitude.

What is your least favorite word? Satisfied. The origin of my dislike for this word is rooted in someone I know regularly eating 2 bites of popcorn and a sip of diet coke in place of a meal and saying, "I'm so satisfied!" Blech. Years later I still cringe.

What turns you on (creatively, spiritually or emotionally)? Gratitude, reflection, a thoughtful gesture from my husband, traveling, being outside in 85 - 90 degree weather with a nice breeze, experiencing a new place for the first time, being near mountains and nature, especially rivers, and coffee and a comfy chair at Borders

What turns you off (creatively, spiritually or emotionally)? a dirty or cluttered house or workspace, bad breath or other noxious smells, people chattering away loudly on their cell phones about personal problems in otherwise quiet public spaces

What sound or noise do you love? The sound of a river, wind in the trees

What sound or noise do you hate? honking horns, shrill whistling, chewing noises and the gait of every narrator's voice on PBS programs

What is your favorite curse word? I'm good for a well placed s$#t or f&$k from time to time.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? writer, paid traveler/explorer, lady of leisure, flying trapeze artist?

What profession would you not like to do? I think one of the circles of hell may require making telemarketing or sales cold calls for all of eternity.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Welcome home.

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