***Giveaway is now closed***
Introduction and Interview by Tracey Meyers
One of the things I love about what I do at Chick Lit Central is that I have the opportunity to expose our readers, and cyberspace, to fresh new authors they may not have otherwise heard of.
Today, I get the pleasure of introducing you to Yael Levy. There are several things I love about Yael's work. Amongst these reasons is that it shows that women from all walks of life truly are united in the struggles they face and the things they want. In the case of Yael's writing, her characters look at these ideas from the Orthodox Jewish point of view - a view point I have come to believe is misunderstood and stereotyped too often.
Yael is a freelance illustrator and journalist who has been published in numerous publications including The Jerusalem Post, and currently writes for The Times of Israel on her experiences as a Jewish mother living in Atlanta. She holds a degree in Illustration from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Her debut novel novel Brooklyn Love was published in September 2012, and she recently released her second novel, Starstruck.
I hope you enjoy getting to know Yael, and her novels, better, as much as I have. You can find her at her website, Facebook and Twitter.
Thanks to Crimson Romance, we have ONE ebook copy of Yael's latest novel, Starstuck, for a lucky reader located anywhere in the world!
Tell us about the differences you experienced between writing Brooklyn Love (your first novel) and your recently published second novel, Starstruck:
Writing Brooklyn Love was a process full of angst and rumination which at times left me feeling numb, while Starstruck had me laughing as I wrote-- it was a lot of fun. I had a great time with my quirky characters and their dramas!
Is there a particular writing schedule (time of day, number of hours a day you write, etc.) that you keep when developing your work or is it just whenever you are most inspired?
I tend to write late into the night. I get into a zone of deep concentration where time stops and any interruption is painful, so if somebody might need me or something must be done, I won't even attempt to write. I can, however work on non-creative writing, editing or other related tasks, which I tend to take care of during the day.
Do you feel it's been more difficult for you to build a readership since your work is based upon characters that are Orthodox Jewish?
I don't feel it's been more difficult building a readership with Orthodox Jewish characters. Many readers enjoy different perspectives!
What reaction has the Orthodox Jewish community had to your work?
I have found the reaction to my work in the Orthodox Jewish community to be extremely supportive and many people have asked me for sequels.
Which season makes you feel the most alive?
I love the Fall: New beginnings, surrounded by beautiful colors as the leaves blanket the earth...In my tradition it is the start of the new year and birthday of the world...so I tend to feel the most alive, then.
If I could pick it, my last meal ever would be:
Does chocolate qualify as a meal? Hershey's with almonds works for me!
What is one thing no one would ever guess about you by just looking at you or briefly interacting with you?
I tend to be very shy.
Love and passion are prominent themes in your stories. How do you define these concepts?
Love and passion are prominent themes in all of my work. I believe feelings wax and wane like the waves of the ocean, so I don't put much weight in them in terms of loving someone (or not.) In my tradition, love means giving-- the more one gives to another, the more one will love the recipient of their kindness. Yet, a romantic relationship must entail both logic and emotion in order to thrive-- only one (feelings of passion) or the other (being with that person makes sense) will ultimately doom the relationship. That said, I think it is good for people to carefully asses their "deal breakers" so that they don't discount a good match, or leave a relationship solely because they "are no longer feeling that spark."
Thanks to Yael for visiting with us and to Crimson Romance for sharing her book with our readers.
Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
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Open worldwide. Giveaway ends April 21st at midnight EST.