Interview with Susan Israel, Author of Over My Live Body
Susan Israel lives in Connecticut with her beloved dog, but New York City lives in her heart and mind. A graduate of Yale College, her fiction has been published in Other Voices, Hawaii Review and Vignette and she has written for magazines, websites and newspapers, including Glamour, Girls Life, Ladies Home Journal and The Washington Post. Sheâ€™s currently at work on the second book in the Delilah Price series, Student Bodies. Visit Susan online at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Susan-Israel-books/1422085928004817 or https://twitter.com/Sqrlmom
When did you begin writing?
I was in grade school, I think, making up stories to cope with being
bullied. That continued into junior high school and high school. I got
some encouragement from one (just one!) teacher in high school, but my earlier efforts weren't very good. I was trying to be someone else. It wasn't until I went to college that I felt my talent was appreciated and I grew as a writer and took greater leaps. My suggestion to anyone who has been afflicted with the "writing bug" is if you are not being encouraged by the people you know, find people who will encourage you, even if it means getting a ton of criticism (as long as it's meant to build you up, not tear you down) Read as much as you can and at the same time find your own voice.
Do you write during the day, at night, or whenever you can sneak a few moments?
I used to write in a computer cluster during the day, between say, 10 a.m. and noon, after which I'd go for coffee to reboot. I wrote all of Over My Live Body that way. After the cluster was removed, I started
writing at home, after dark, when it was quieter and I still do. But I also take my work in progress and a composition notebook with me when I go out for coffee and work there, whichever cafe I happen to go to.
What is this book about?
My main character, Delilah Price, is being stalked by a stranger who is obsessed with her, a situation not uncommon to actresses and rock stars, only Delilah is an artist who happens to work as an art model to
help make ends meet, not exactly a household name (yet). She doesn't know how she happened to attract his attention and doesn't know why horrible things are happening to people close to her as a result of the
attraction. The police only get involved when a murder is committed.
What inspired you to write it?
I was modeling for art classes and in a perfectly safe environment, but I conjured a situation where somebody would not be as safe,as sheltered, I and plopped my main character, Delilah, in the center of that.
My next novel, Student Bodies, is the second in the Delilah Price saga. In this, Delilah is still modeling but also working as a substitute art teacher in a girls' middle school, dealing with teenage angst (and her own feelings of inadequacy) and the threat of a serial rapist and sexual predator posing a real danger to those she is close to - and herself. After that will be a third, yet untitled, involving a human trafficking ring and an intriguing foreign suitor with a questionable past and present.