When did you start writing?
In 1988, when the AIDS epidemic was making headlines, and major magazines were hailing condoms as the solution, I kept yelling at the magazine articles, “Nobody wants to wear a condom!” So I wrote my first book, about why and how to persuade your lover to use a condom. The persusasive arguments are still valid, but the statistics, sadly, are out of date. And the book is out of print now, too.
Why did you choose your particular genre?
I have always worked with prescriptive nonfiction, first as a publicist, then as an editor and finally as an agent. Many of these books had a huge, positive influence in my life and I hoped that mine might influence others for the better as well.
What inspired you to choose your subject matter?
The condom book was inspired by the headlines of the time. My next project, How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty, was the answer to a question my co-author Connie Hatch and I had been playing with: What did we wish we had known when we were in our twenties and thirties that we finally knew in our forties. My new book is a response to people who enjoy vegetarian meals when they eat in restaurants or when I prepare them, but who say, “I’d eat this way more often if only it didn’t take so much time.” I set out with my co-author, Carol J. Adams, to show that it does not take so much time to prepare delicious and nutritious food from the plant kingdom.
How difficult/easy has your experience been as a published writer?
Having co-authors has made the writing process a delight for me. I work alone most of the time, and I love the collaborative process of creating a book. The hardest part for me is to think organizationally. My co-authors have always been good at organizing the books and brainstorming the best ways to communicate the information. Also, they have been very good writers, and that has made the books accessible and fun to read.
What advice would you give other aspiring authors?
Don’t let the nuts and bolts of getting the book published in the way of the writing. Write the best book proposal you can, and then focus on finding the best agent for the book.
Anything else you would like to share with the WNBA?
I would like to thank the WNBA for its steadfast focus on books and reading. As the industry changes and even what we call a book is redefined to include electronic formats, the WNBA keeps reading front and center and celebrates books with robust enthusiasm. It has been a pleasure to be a member.
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