An Interview with Delin Colon: Author & Entrepreneur
Sylvia: Hi Delin, it is such a pleasure to interview you. I know how busy you are so thank you for your time. Please give our readers a brief introduction of yourself and a little about your book.
Delin: Thank you Sylvia. My name is Delin Colón. I am the author of “Rasputin and The Jews: A Reversal of History.” I was born in New Jersey and have lived in Maryland, D.C., Florida, California (northern and southern), Montreal and Washington State. My undergraduate work was in French, with a minor in Social Psychology, and my graduate work was in Clinical Psychology. Among many other things (such as working in psychiatric hospitals), I’ve been a technical writer for Sociological Abstracts, a researcher, and owner of a construction company.
I’ve always enjoyed writing but seem to have a special affinity for research and non-fiction. I also enjoy creating minimalistic collage art. I live quietly in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, a fine art photographer.
Sylvia: So, you are in construction… AWESOME! Woman Power! So, writing is probably very relaxing after a long and noisy day in the field. What inspired you to write your first book?
Delin: My father had always told me that my great-great uncle, Aron Simanovitch, had been Rasputin’s secretary. About 15 years ago, I happened across an out-of-print copy of Simanovitch’s memoirs in French, which fortunately I understand. I was thunderstruck by all the good works he recounted of Rasputin helping the oppressed Russian Jews. After translating his memoir into English, I spent the next decade doing research to substantiate his claims. What I found was that the anti-Semitic Russian aristocracy demonized Rasputin (the same way they did Jews) for his humanitarian efforts. No one before had ever chronicled Rasputin’s aid to Jews, yet all who knew him, from his daughter to his murderers, mentioned his efforts whether with derision or admiration.
Sylvia: Very interesting, especially the fact you researched the subject for a long while.
Delin: Yes. One is obvious, the other more general. I want to show the effects of anti-Semitism. Even those who aren’t Jews suffer the effects, as Rasputin’s reputation did. The larger message is that, just as there are two sides to every story, there’s more than one view of history and various perceptions of its events. History is generally written by the powerful, the elite and the literate. That’s only one side of the coin. Then, there are the masses – those whose voices have been silenced or simply swept aside. In the case of “Rasputin and The Jews: A Reversal of History”, pre-revolutionary life in Russia was luxurious if you were an aristocrat or a successful businessman. If you were a poor Jew, confined to the ghetto called The Pale of Settlement, deprived of an education, most occupations, without civil rights, life was a tenuous thing.
Sylvia: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Delin: I think every writer has to find her own path. The only thing I can say is that, when you’re writing, focus only on the process. Don’t even think about publishers, who will like it, how you’ll market it, etc. All that will only distract from you putting everything into it. You have plenty of time, once the manuscript is finished, to worry about all that other stuff. When you’ve put down the pen (or keyboard), after the final draft, then look at it with a critical eye, from a reader’s point of view, publishing, marketing, etc.
Sylvia: Why should we buy your book?
Delin: For the truth. We should not allow defamatory myths to be perpetuated and we should give credit where credit is due. Rasputin, now 95 years after his murder, deserves to be exonerated – finally vindicated – freed to no longer be an unwitting victim of anti-Semitism. And.. I could use the cash.
Sylvia: Could anti-Semitism really be the reason the aristocracy hated Rasputin?
Delin: I’ve been asked this a number of times. Certainly, it wasn’t the only reason. There was the aristocracy’s jealousy of a peasant having the Tsar’s ear. There was also the jealousy of the clergy because so many attended Rasputin’s dynamic sermons. There were also his radical political ideas like giving equal rights to the Jews, not engaging in wars, not sending soldiers into battle without ammunition, slashing the black market prices on food. These things sound reasonable to us, but to the aristocracy, it was a death knell. But I think those who doubt that someone’s character could be defamed because of anti-Semitism don’t quite understand how deep that hatred can be. World War II was proof of that.
Sylvia: Hatred… yes, it’s deeply rooted; gut wrenching deep! Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?
Delin: I’m a dinosaur who prefers writing with pen on paper. Somehow, I feel a computer, or even (forgive the anachronism) typewriter, removes me from the work. I just feel more of a connection when writing directly onto paper. Since my work involves research, I’m usually pretty spread out, with index cards of information that I organize into the sequence I want, then transcribing from them onto a legal pad. For my purposes, the dining room table works well, since I never use it for meals anyway. It has a warm atmosphere.
Sylvia: Pen and Paper! That’s rare these days.
Well Delin, what is your POWER WORD? A power word is a word that has great effect to the person hearing or reading it. My power word is EMPOWER! In fact, I created a weekly program called, POWER UP and each week my group discover and discuss a specific POWER WORD as it relates to our lives. I provide audio and handouts as well.
Delin: Sound interesting! Let’s see… that’s a tough one. I guess the first one that comes to mind is “YES”.
Sylvia: YES, hmmmm, I like that… Why “YES?”
Delin: Well, it opens me to all possibilities and leaves no room for doubt. When an idea comes into my head, my first reaction is “YES”! Even if it doesn’t work out, without that “yes,” I’d never explore it.
Sylvia: Delin, it’s been a pleasure! Thank you once again for your time. Where can my readers buy your book?
Delin: Thank you, Sylvia. You have no idea how grateful I am for this opportunity.Readers can click on the following link, Amazon.
Delin’s Book Review