An Interview with Myra Sherman: Author
Sylvia: Hi Myra, it is such a pleasure to interview you. Please give our readers a brief introduction of yourself and a little about your book.
Myra: Thank you Sylvia, my pleasure. After living in Israel and upstate New York, I currently divide my time between Berkeley and Lake County, California. I received a Master’s in Social Welfare from The University of California, Berkeley and am a licensed clinical social worker in California. I’ve worked as the Director of Mental Health in a San Francisco Bay area county jail, and as a therapist specializing in patients at risk for suicide, homeless substance abusers and mentally disordered sex offenders. My short story collection, JAILED, was published by Desperanto Press in December 2011.
Sylvia: Wow, very interesting Myra. It appears that your work might influence your writing, what genre do you write?
Myra: I generally write literary fiction. But I’ve just completed the first draft of a dystopian novel that might be considered science fiction.
Sylvia: What inspired you to write your first book?
Sylvia: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Myra: Yes. Although there have been many books that focus on prisons, there has been no literary work that immerses the reader into jail life. The multiple narrators (inmates, guards, health workers, and relatives) allow the reader to understand local incarceration. A jail is not a prison. It is an intense milieu that conquers and changes everyone inside.
Sylvia: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Myra: The most important advice is to keep writing, and focused on your goals. I’ve found writers’ groups, workshops and conferences helpful, both for critique and networking.
Sylvia: What marketing techniques have you used to sell your books and which ones have been most successful?
Myra: My publisher, Desperanto Press, has promoted JAILED on their website and other venues. I’ve publicized my book on Twitter, Facebook, and online writers’ sites. I also placed copies in local independent bookstores, and arranged author showcases. I think online promotion is most effective in terms of reaching the widest audience.
Sylvia: Why should we buy your book?
Myra: JAILED provides an insider’s perspective into an unknown world, but more important, is good literary fiction. Readers and reviewers have found the book to be unlike anything they’ve previously read, and not easily forgotten.
Sylvia: Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?
Myra: I prefer to write at my home in Lake County, where I have my desk arranged facing a backyard creek. I find the outdoor view both soothing and inspirational.
Sylvia: What projects are you currently working on?
Myra: I’m currently editing my first novel, MOCKINGBIRD BLUES, the story of a homeless woman who finds redemption while in jail. And I’m very close to completing a first draft of GREEN SKY, a dystopian novel set in rural Northern California.
Sylvia: What is your POWER WORD? Why this word?
Myra: PERSISTENCE. I strongly believe that goals and opportunities are best reached by not giving up and realizing the struggle is worth the effort.
Sylvia: Myra, thank you! Please share your contact information:
Myra: You are welcome. I had fun! My contact information is below: