It was my great privilege to interview the author, Sandra block. A practising neurologist, and a mother of two, she has published two novels- Little Black Lies and The Girl Without A Name. Her third and the last novel in the Zoe Goldman series will release April this year.
Find her here: Sandra Block.
How do you manage to be an author and a mother of two? Amidst your busy life, how do you find enough time to write?
It’s a busy life, no doubt! But, I usually do my writing in the morning before everyone is up, and then I fit more in here and there – in waiting rooms, kids sports etc. You’d be amazed how much “dead time” is out there if you look for it!
What is the inspiration behind Dr. Zoe Goldman? How similar are you with the character?
Zoe spoke to me when I was dreaming up my first book. I knew I wanted to have a medical resident as the main character…and she appeared! We are similar, but not the same. For instance, I’m five feet two inches (she’s over six feet) and I don’t have ADHD.
What are the challenges in writing a book in a mystery/thriller genre?
Every book in every genre is a challenge, you have to keep the pages turning, create believable, relatable characters, while not making it too easy on them! For mystery/thriller books, you also turn up the ampage a bit, throw in a rollercoaster twist or two, and provide enough clues so the reader says “I should have gotten that!” – but still doesn’t…
For an aspiring writer, what do you think is the apt time to write a book? Do you think sufficient experience is necessary before writing a book?
I don’t think there is an “apt time” really. If you want to write, start writing! I don’t think any “experience” is required, other than life. The best training for writing is reading books of authors that you admire, and practising your craft by writing, writing, writing.
Psychological thrillers, I feel, are very intriguing and a bit sensitive. What paved your way into choosing this genre to write in?
I returned to my love of mystery late in life, probably in my mid-thirties. I’ve been pretty solid women’s/literary fiction up to that point. Someone turned me on to Henning Menkel (pure procedural), but my inspiration was really sparked by the fiction of Gillian Flynn and Kate Atkinson.
What are the challenges you faced in getting your first book published?
I tried to publish a medical thriller about twenty years ago while still in my residency and while people still used snail mail! I didn’t get an agent back then. Around age forty, when I tried again, I had far more grit and far less fear of failure. This time around, I snagged an agent. :)\
What do you love the most about being an author?
I love all of it, really. I love being part of a writing community. I love picking the title, seeing the cover for the first time, and holding the book in my hand. Every moment is still a thrill to me.
What was the eureka moment in your life, the moment you realised writing was your true calling?
In my heart, I always knew it. I remember writing poetry about the clouds while staring at the sky around age six or so. Writing always gave me joy.
How do you take criticism?
I’ve gotten pretty good at it. As a doctor, you basically get pounded and shamed for about eight years of training – so you learn to get used to it! As for my writing, sometimes I sulk a bit after an editorial letter, but then I buck right up and start making changes. They’re always for the better.
When can we expect your next book?
April 18th! My last Zoe Goldman novel comes out then, called The Secret Room.