The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Deborah Schwartz

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The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Deborah Schwartz


Summary: Sue was hooked on Woman on Top from the first page and she had more than a few questions for author Deborah Schwartz when she popped in to see us.
Date: 23 September 2013
Interviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee

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Sue was hooked on Woman on Top from the first page and she had more than a few questions for author Deborah Schwartz when she popped in to see us.

  • Bookbag: When you close your eyes and imagine your readers, who do you see?

Deborah Schwartz: Women and men, all ages, who have been touched by life. Their paths are not a straight line. They make mistakes. They love and get hurt. And they read because books can inspire people to change their lives. This book has also made some readers grateful for their own lives.

  • BB: When I read your biography it struck me that your own life had inspired Woman on Top. How far is this true - and did you have your own 'Len'?

DS: My life really did inspire the book. My husband died of cancer when I was 35 and I had two small children at the time. And I did date various Wall Street men like Len.

  • BB: It's often said that the rich are different? Is it true? What does - or would - make you feel rich?

DS: Yes, the rich lead different lives. Not necessarily better lives but different. They can choose to live in a bubble of privilege.

My life feels rich because of the people in my life. And because of my constant desire for new adventures.

  • BB: I was in awe of the way that you brought Kate's vulnerability off the page. She's an independent-minded career woman but there's still that little hole in the fabric into which a manipulative man can poke his finger and pull. Did you find that painful to write?

DS: You've really touched on one of the most important issues of the book. Why are women who are so strong in their professional life so vulnerable when it comes to their love life? I'm hoping to inspire women to make decisions about men from positions of strength not from desperation. It was more painful to live in my own version of the story than it was to write!

  • BB: Where did you learn to write like that? You had me hooked from the first page!

DS: You're so kind. Thank you. It means so much to me to reach people through my book. My grown children are really good writers, although that is not their profession, and they give me suggestions about my work all the time.

  • BB: Where and how do you write? With or without music?

DS: I'm a very social person and writing is a very solitary experience. Turns out I loved it. Once the book was in my head, I carried it everywhere. I wrote mostly in my apartment (no music) for five or six hours a day. But I thought about the book all the time! And I ended up writing whenever it felt like I had to - any time of the day or night.

  • BB: You climbed Kilimanjaro? Why? Would you do it again?

DS: I stopped practicing healthcare law about three years ago. My son and I were talking about what's next and he suggested climbing Kilimanjaro. It was really out of the blue since I grew up in New York and had never climbed anything -- except for stairs. And I'd never slept in a tent. So it became a wonderful challenge. Lots of training and learning about what I was in for. I was determined to reach the summit and I did!

Another mountain? Absolutely.

  • BB: What are you reading at the moment? Which book has influenced you the most and would it be your desert island book?

DS: My book club just finished reading 'Unbroken'.

Favorite book of all time? Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Absolutely would take it to my desert island.

  • BB: You've got one wish? What's it to be?

DS: Long, happy and healthy lives for my children.

  • BB: What's next for Deborah Schwartz?

DS: I'd love to write another book. Readers have been telling me what they're waiting to see in a sequel. And I am always dreaming of climbing more mountains.

  • BB: We'd love to read the sequel too, Deborah. Thanks for chatting to us.

You can read more about Deborah Schwartz here.

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