Hi Miriam and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?
Hi Jo and thank you very much for having me on your blog. I was born and brought up in the UK, but have lived for over forty years in Israel, where I married and had three children, now all grown up. I began my working life as a computer programmer, transferred to technical writing and am now an author and an editor.
The other thing I should say, because it comes up below, is that I developed social anxiety as a child, mostly because of the way I was treated at school, and have lived with it ever since.
What made you decide to move from writing fiction to producing a non-fiction book?
It only seems as if that’s what I did. Actually, I wrote the non-fiction book on social anxiety in 2004 before I wrote any fiction. When I tried to get it published, I began to realise how difficult it is to become a published author and put the book aside. In the meantime, I started to write fiction and eventually got some short stories published in anthologies before being picked up by my publisher, Crooked Cat Books. When Crooked Cat ventured into non-fiction, they accepted my book from 2004, which I enhanced, and which was published in 2017.
Have you any plans to return to fictional work?
Definitely. I’m working on one work of fiction at the moment and have plans for others.
If money were no object where in the world would you love to travel to?
My husband and I have done a lot of travelling in recent years, including exotic places like India, Ethiopia and the Far East. But I’ve never crossed the equator and would love to visit anywhere in the southern hemisphere. I’d probably start with Australia and New Zealand, two places with plenty to discover and no language barrier.
Are you able to tell us a little about what you are working on at the moment?
I’m looking forward to getting back to writing when I return home from my current trip to the UK, during which, apart from visiting several lovely friends, I have given a talk on social anxiety and am about to co-lead a workshop.
In the novel I hope to finish shortly, a man who’s been socially isolated is sent to Japan to represent his company. The business trip is only short, but it has a major effect on his life.
And lastly, you are planning life on a desert island for a year. What four things would you take with you and why?
The thing that springs to mind first is the means for writing. I’m hoping that by wording it in this way, you will regard it as one thing, although it sounds like two: paper and pens. And in sufficient quantities to keep me going all year, please. That’ll keep me busy and happy.
Turning to more practical matters, I’d like a big crate of tinned and other food and drink that’ll last, to keep me alive.
Music would be nice – a wide variety of it, including songs to dance to. And maybe the playlist could include some Radio 4 programmes. I particularly like Woman’s Hour, Just a Minute and the News Quiz. Even Desert Island Discs.
And, of course, lots of books to read, starting with all those on my ever-growing to-read list.
This is beginning to sound like a welcome prospect. When can I go?
Miriam Drori was born and brought up in London and now lives with her husband and one of three grown up children in Jerusalem.
With a degree in Maths and following careers in computer programming and technical writing, Miriam has been writing novels and short stories for fourteen years. After some success with short stories, Miriam turned her hand to longer fictional works, publishing “Neither Here Nor There” and “The Women Friends: Selina” co-written with Emma Rose Millar.
Miriam’s latest publication is non-fiction and explores the common but little-known disorder called social anxiety, which has been her companion for most of her life. It looks at social anxiety from different points of view, with the help of many quotes from ‘sufferers’ who agreed for their words to be used anonymously. The book has been highly recommended by ‘sufferers’ as well as professionals in this field.
When not writing, Miriam enjoys reading, hiking, dancing and travelling.
Neither Here Nor There, a romance set in Jerusalem.
The Women Friends: Selina, historical fiction based on a painting by Klimt.