An Interview with Jezra Kaye: Author, Speech Coach, Speech Writer & Entrepreneur
Sylvia: Welcome Jezra. Please give our readers an introduction of yourself and a little about your book.
Jezra: Hello Sylvia! My name is Jezra Kaye and I’ve been writing since I was 5 or 6 years old, but The Tattooed Heart is my first novel. Set in the mid-1980s, at the start of the AIDS epidemic, it’s the story of a hard-luck girl who’s on the road trying to fulfill a promise to her dead lover.
I think of this as a “quest” novel, because my heroine Gracie is searching for something. Of course, what she finds is not what she expected, and the novel traces her adventures and the friendships she makes on her journey.
Sylvia: Wow, you’ve been writing a long time. What inspired you to write your first book?
Jezra: I think every writer dreams of “penning” a novel. It’s the ultimate act of verbal imagination, and for me, the fulfillment of a lifetime goal.
Sylvia: Well congratulations! Looking at the reviews, I’d say you have many loyal readers. Is there a message in your public speaking book that you want readers to grasp?
Jezra: The characters in The Tattooed Heart are complicated, and not always admirable; but they come through for each other when it counts the most. One thing I wanted to convey was that people on the fringes of society can lead good and even moral lives, even if they take some unexpected turns to survive.
Sylvia: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Jezra: Rewrite! That’s really the secret of life for writers. Every time you rewrite, things get better. But having said that, I think it’s important to push for a complete first draft before you start rewriting. Many would-be authors fall into the trap of polishing, polishing, and never finishing. Writing is one of those places where it’s helpful to remember that “good and done” has it all over “partial and perfect.”
Sylvia: What marketing techniques have you used to sell your books and which ones have been most successful?
Jezra: I’m just getting serious about marketing The Tattooed Heart now, so I’ll know more about this in a few months. But I’ve created “palm cards” for the book, and my daughter is helping me distribute them to tattoo parlors. I have a web site, and am trying to blog more frequently. And I’m reaching out to communities of readers who will enjoy an adventure story with a powerful heroine.
Sylvia: That’s great, having your daughter excited about your book and helping you distribute them. I’d say she is your cheerleader! Why should we buy your book?
Jezra: Because it’s a page turner. It’s also moving, thought-provoking, and a very satisfying read.
Sylvia: Well, looking at all 14 raving reviews on Amazon, I’d say you are right. In fact, one fan wrote:
I loved the book and fell in love with Grace and her strength. Having never lived the life that she led, I was swept into the story immediately and couldn’t put the book down. The descriptions of the geography, characters and situations were authentic and honest. I will recommend this book to everyone who is complacent with their own lives and needs a reminder of how blessed we are!
Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?
Jezra: I like my kitchen table for writing, and particularly in the middle of the night when the city, and my mind, finally quiet down.
Sylvia: What projects are you currently working on?
Jezra: In the last few years, I’ve written a number of business books, both under my own name and as a “ghost.” I’ll be doing more of that in 2013, but hope to get back to writing fiction soon.
Sylvia: What is your POWER WORD? Why this word
Jezra: My power word is “breathe.” I tend to be an anxious person, and breathing—when I remember to do it consciously—is a great way to get centered and let go of some of the expectations and anxieties that make it so hard for all of us to concentrate. Of course, the trick is to remember this when you need it!
Sylvia: I like that power word! Life can be busy and stressful! By relaxing and taking deep breaths; can alleviate some of that stress and anxiety! Thank you for your time and sharing your life! Please share your social media and book contact information.
Jezra: Certainly, thank you Sylvia for interviewing me. Your readers may contact me through the following:
- Website: http://www.thetattooedheart.com
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/jezrakaye
- The Tattooed Heart is available in Paperback or eBook versions at: http://amzn.to/SY0rIw