I’m not really here at the moment. I’m trying my best to be away, catching up on edits and emails and other stuff while hoping, too, that I might actually get some actual writing done.
But being away’s not going to stop me having guest around. And today it’s the lovely Miriam Drori. Over to you…
Nik and I first “met” via an interview of me on another blog. The topic of the interview was place, and I talked about the reasons why I moved from London to Jerusalem many years ago. I also mentioned social anxiety in that interview. As social anxiety is unfortunately a part of who I am, I don’t think any picture of me can be complete without it.
Social anxiety was also the reason why I started writing. I’m passionate about raising its profile and the understanding of it, and writing was the natural direction for me. So my romance, Neither Here Nor There, published by Crooked Cat, obviously features a character with social anxiety, right? Wrong. Mark, the hero of the romance, is a bit shy, that’s all. His upbringing in London was too restrictive, too protected. But he’s working on that. Moving to Jerusalem was a big step in the process.
Esty, the heroine, has moved to a place that’s in one way much closer to her childhood home and in another much further. She grew up in the ultra-orthodox, haredi, community. Having taken the brave step of leaving the only way of life she has ever known, she has to acclimatise to a very different one – not an easy task at all. Imagine walking to the sea dressed in nothing but a swimming costume, when you’re used to always being covered up. Imagine seeing sex on the television, albeit covered with a blanket, when you believe that act should be totally private and should only take place in the marital home.
So what about that novel that features a character or two with social anxiety? I’m still working on it. It’s not easy to step outside a world you know only too well, but that’s exactly what authors have to do when writing what they know. In the meantime, the process of writing this book has taught me an awful lot about writing.