Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Interview with Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein - fiction for women and girls

Welcome, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, to Reviews and Interviews. It's a pleasure to chat with you.

Let's start with some introductory questions.

Where are you from? I live in New Jersey and grew up in Connecticut.

Do you write full-time? Part-time.

If you have a non-writing job, would you tell us a little bit about it? I am a psychologist in private practice.

What made you decide to tackle the genre(s) you write in? As a positive psychologist I have been focusing on helping women and girls recognize their talents, strengths and potential for years. I am truly invested in rekindling and renewing in people of all ages a sense of excitement about their lives and themselves. One day I just kind of woke up and knew that I wanted to stimulate women and girls to passionately connect with the best of themselves and that the way to do it was through a fictional girl.

Now we’ll focus a bit on your published writing.

Please tell us about your current release. The Truth (I'm a girl, I'm smart and I know everything) is a girl's fictional diary. She is 10 and 11 in the book. You never learn her name, but you identify with her instantly. She is in her heart and being one of us. She speaks for all of us, as she writes about her first crush, her upsets at school, her concerns over her parents fighting, her anxieties over moving and her efforts to find a way to hold on to the best of herself as she grows up.

What inspired you to write this book? My work with girls and women in my psychological practice. Also, my own life and the stories of my friends and relatives.

Did you enjoy the research process? What did it entail? My original research for my first book, The Enchanted Self, A Positive Therapy, involved case study interviews with women not in my practice. I loved doing it and compiling the research. It was that research that confirmed for me the latent talents and potential that we all have and how fragile those capacities are in terms of being wounded or dismissed.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? As far as The Truth, the hardest part was proofreading and editing.

Did you learn anything from writing your book? If so, what was it? I learned that I am a good fiction writer. That was an amazing switch for me from my earlier writings, which were often inspirational and told a story, but not designed as fiction.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Only a couple of pages which I plan to change in the new printing.

What can we expect to see from you in the future? The next book in the series is already written. I have an agent and I'm looking for a publisher. It is called Secrets and the girl is a year older in it.

What ways have you found effective for promoting your book(s)? The best is Virtual Tours and constantly talking about my book on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Also, local public speaking and Girl Scout troops.

And now for a few fun questions.

What have you read for fun lately? Actually, not much. I loved Eat, Pray, Love.

Besides writing, what do you do for fun? What are you hobbies? Walking, dancing, socializing, movies, plays, travel.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? I like to write late at night.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? I wanted to be an actress, a doctor, a mother of six kids (I have raised two), I wanted to have a ton of pets, (I've had seven cats so far as a grown-up).

And to wrap up…

Is there anything else that you would like to share with the audience? My wisdom: Laugh as much as you can. Be good to people and animals. Don't make fun of others.

Do you have a website where writers can learn more about you and your writing?,

How can people to get in touch with you? or 732-571-1200

Thank you, Barbara, for your time in answering my questions. It's nice learning more about you and your writing.

Please feel free to leave a comment for Barbara, she'll be stopping in today to chat with visitors.

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