This week on “Between the Covers” we feature first-time author, Mandi Eizenbaum.
Her first novel, Just Call Me Miri, came out earlier this year. She is working on her next book and hopes to have that released next year.
I asked Mandi more about her character Miri when she described her as an “every woman.”
“Wherever she goes in the world (she travels a lot), no matter what life throws at her (she has a number of happy and sad experiences), she picks herself up and stays true to her convictions, her family, and her beliefs. She’s a strong woman who keeps moving forward…she’s an example for women everywhere! I am proud of Miri.”
I asked this native New Yorker about her background.
“I was born in NY (Brooklyn) to Jewish-Cuban parents. My sister and I went to private religious school until we moved to South Florida. I grew up in a very happy, stable home in Aventura, Florida. I am so lucky to say that I have the best parents who were always available and willing to give me and my sister everything we wanted (physically and emotionally).”
Many authors subscribe to an “It takes a village” approach to this business. I asked Mandi to tell me more about her process and support network.
“I have a number of friends that have supported me as an author, but one in particular (Debbie Reed Fisher, acclaimed YA novelist from Florida) has been extremely supportive of my efforts. She is always available to share personal and professional advice and to push me in my own writing. She is another great example of a strong woman to emulate (like Miri)!
Mandi elaborated on helpful groups that help her.
“A reading/blogging/reviewing group called Reading and Eating. It’s an online blog/review administered by a great gal (Karen Newfield) right here in Florida. Karen is very honest and thorough in her hundreds of reviews – you can easily sense how much she loves books and reading. She is positive, resourceful, inspirational, and all-around wonderful to work with. I have to add that FAPA has been a wonderful place to be since I joined this year! The group seems very warm and supportive – a treasure of resource, support, and optimism.”
Many authors work a regular job until their writing pays the bills. Mandi has a day job.
“I am a teacher by day…I don’t know if that affects my writing or my writing affects my teaching. Either way, both parts of my life (teaching and writing) intertwine and rely on each other for resource, feedback, and development.”
I asked Mandi how people around her how they would describe her personality.
“Funny, light, professional, and sensitive. I like to write in the first person point of view to make my writing a little more personal.”
Mandi describes her defining moment as an author as the moment she held her own book in her hands.
Great writers are big readers. I was curious who some of Mandi’s favorite authors are.
“Marek Halter, Naomi Regan, Steve Berry, Brad Thor, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Daniel Silva, Pam Jenoff, Alice Hoffman, Jeffrey Archer, Ronald Balson…honestly, I’m sure I am forgetting a few others but these guys could write anything, and I would read it. I love a good historical fiction or mystery/thriller!”
Authors go through their own evolution and adapt their own methods. I asked Mandi how she thinks being an author has changed her.
“I think I have become more sensitive to other people’s feelings and thoughts; I listen more and save my talking for my manuscript/writing. I think I have become more aware, mellow, and thoughtful. All very important attributes for a person, not just an author!”
She offers some good advice for those who want to write a book.
“Start writing…and don’t ever stop!”
Writers always have amusing anecdotes. I asked Mandi to describe something funny that has happened to her.
“I don’t know if this is “funny” as in HA-HA, or just “odd”… I went to see (a famous author) at her book signing, but she looked so different from her posted public photos that I ignored her the few times she tried to smile and get my personal attention (she recognized me from our social media communication). Only when she began speaking did I realize my mistake! I was so embarrassed that I almost walked out of there with my book unsigned!”
To learn more about Mandi (and Marni!) please check out these social media links:
Just Call Me Miri at:
Amazon (paperback and Kindle versions),
Barnes & Noble and E-book for digital versions,
Books and Books (Paperback ISBN# 978-1-64096-466-2) Featured in Hadassah Magazine (May/Junel 2019):