1-How long have you been writing? I wrote and directed my first play at the age of nine, mainly to get out of recess and to wear lipstick for the opening. Although I don’t remember much about its content, I’ll never forget the exhilaration of laughter and applause.
Six weeks into the first semester at the University of Florida , I informed my parents that I wanted to go to Europe and write books. The idea received a vehement veto so I graduated with a B.A. in English and Journalism. A year later, I hit the road, traveling extensively in the US and abroad.
Eventually I met the frog prince of my dreams and moved to Paris as his concubine. While living in The City of Light (which I refer to as The City of Merde), drinking vin rouge in the
same bistros as Simone, Ernest, Gertrude, et al., I began working on—My Life as a Concubine—the story of a savvy, New York City woman, never married, not looking to be, who suddenly falls in love with a Frenchman. She gives up everything—including a rent-controlled, Park Avenue apartment, even her cat!—for l’amour. Unfortunately, after five years, l’amour went down le sewer and I returned to The Big Apple.
2-What is your favorite genre to write? Fiction is my narcotic of choice because it’s what I love to read, especially mysteries, thrillers, suspense…basically anything well-written.
3-What are you working on now? A children’s book called Baboon Bob, which I wrote a while ago but am now thinking of animating. It’s the story of a messy little boy:
When Baboon Bob smiled, we'd beg him to frown
cuz his teeth were so dirty his tongue had left town!
Did he have a toothbrush? Was it in the box?
Or kept in a big safe with 400 locks?
4-When you begin a story do you start with character or plot? It varies. My Life as a Concubine was written as a roman à clef, which means I changed the names to protect the guilty. The novel was totally character driven because it pertains to the three years I lived in Paris. Think of it as a modern memoir with sex. Men at Work, my book of suggestive poetry (a Dr. Seuss for adults), is based on different occupations and each poem is packed with double entendres. It takes me forever to write a book, probably because I also edit professionally. The Brain Exchange is a combination. Among reams of writing advice I’ve received over the years, this is one of the best: as soon as you wake up—before going to the bathroom, drinking coffee, etc.—stay in bed, grab a pen & paper and write for five to ten minutes. It works for me because my editing brain is not fully conscious, allowing me to scribble many pages without a break.
5-Tell us about your latest/upcoming release. What inspired it? There’s a Rodgers and Hammerstein song called "I Enjoy Being a Girl" that I totally relate to, but I’ve always wanted to experience being a man for a brief period of time. This is the idea behind The Brain Exchange. I began writing the sci-fi, which I refer to as a sex-fi, as a screenplay and actually flew to Hollywood to pitch my idea. Having no uncle, cousin, aunt, sibling or non-family contacts in show biz (aaah nepotism), I turned my script into a book. Although the premise remained the same, the two main characters—Amana and Steel—kept me constantly amazed by the pretzel-like paths they followed on their incredible journey.
Abandon your beliefs and let your reality run wild. Imagine being fully aware inside a body of the opposite gender. Now imagine the best sex you ever had. Would this just be different? Or better? Or the best ever?
Amana—a supersized woman, and Steel—a fitness freak. Two dissatisfied people with very different appetites. Fate’s middle finger triggers a tailspin when they sign up for vacations at The Brain Exchange. Their odyssey will change them dramatically…but for better or worse?