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Interview with Arlene Lomazoff-Marron


Arlene Lomazoff-Marron

Beneath a Blanket of Snow


She worked in health care for more than forty years and raised a family, but didn’t consider writing a novel until her coworker’s comment. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband Gerry.


Q.1 Tell us something about yourself not many people know? 

A. I have engaged in many new activities since I turned 50 (I’m now 64). I started riding a bicycle for recreation, often in groups of people who are also older than 50. I never had the opportunity to take piano lessons as a child-I started about ten years ago and still take weekly lessons. I learned to play Mah Jongg about ten years ago, and I have a small business with a partner teaching Mah Jongg with video lessons. I guess I’m a late bloomer; I wrote writing my first book at age 63.


Q.2 When should we expect your next book? What will it be about?

A. I participated in NaNoWriMo in November 2020 and completed 50,000 words of my second novel, which I hope to release in spring 2021. Like my first novel, it is a story about families and change. It is not a sequel to my first book.


Q.3 What made you write Beneath a Blanket of Snow?

A. I believe that nearly everyone has something they are hiding from others; something in one’s past or present, a secret of some type. Sometimes our partners and close friends don’t know everything.


Q.4 Tell us about your protagonist(s)? Was there a real-life inspiration behind him or her?

A. My book is fiction but inspired in a small part by some adversity in my life. Some of the emotions and thoughts and actions of the main female character, Meredith was my own.


Q.5 Does your book touch on any social issue? If yes, which ones?

A. Most people can relate to some or many of the issues in this book-affluence, marriage, stereotypes, adversity, friendship, trust, and redemption.


Q.6 How do you select the name of your characters?

A. I tried to choose names that are reflective of society and diverse cultures. It was also important for me to include characters of different cultures. One of the important characters in the book was Asian.

 

Q.7 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

A. I didn’t have any particular difficulty writing male characters. I wrote about their relationship with other family members. I think that’s a generic angle-everyone has family and relationship issues.


Q.8 Do you hide any secrets in your book that only a few people will find?

A. I think there was at least one character’s secret that will surprise most readers. Also, many readers were surprised when they realized the meaning of the title.


Q.9 What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?

A. I’m self-published, so I can’t speak to any unethical practices personally. But I know that some readers only download free e-books. My book is very inexpensive, but not free. Many readers might not give me a chance.


Q.10 Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?

A. I offered a read of my manuscript to several people I am close to. One woman accepted my offer. She made some terrific suggestions about word choice and content. I didn’t know she had great editing skills. Her insight was immensely valuable.


Q. 11 If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in any of your books?

A. I am pleased with my first book. However, because I didn’t plan to write it and the process of writing, editing, formatting, and publishing took only a few months, I didn’t have the opportunity to develop a real social media presence until after the book was released. Many authors start a year in advance of a book release.


Q.12 Do you believe in writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?

A. I have experienced periods of time when I did not know how to proceed when writing a particular chapter or situation. I usually skip to another area of the story-write something out of order. I put all of the scenes in order later.


Q.13 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?

A. I have been very pleased with the reviews of my book. The first one I received, a few days after the book was released, was from someone I did not know. It was a five-star review and very detailed. It meant so much to me.


Q.14 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?

A. I am a very organized person, but I don’t organize my plans for my books on paper. Most of the planning is in my head!


Q.15 Outside of your family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author? 

A. Social media platforms have been a big help to get my name to potential readers.


Q.16 What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

A. There is a specific part of the book that I referenced in a previous question as being a potential surprise to my readers. But it was actually a surprise to me, too; it was completely unplanned. I was writing dialogue, and the character said something that changed the trajectory of other events. I know that happens to other authors too. Sometimes our fingers type words that our brains didn’t plan.


Q.17 What three things readers should expect from your books?

A. I’m proud to say that my readers found my characters were well-developed and relatable, the story compelling, and riveting, and the book interesting throughout.


Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

A. I’d love to meet and speak with Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Whether or not you agree with her rulings on The Supreme Court of the United States, she did amazing things to advance the rights of all people, especially women, in the United States.


Q.19 What is your favorite book and why?

A. The Grapes of Wrath is probably my favorite. In addition to the family’s struggle which is so vividly written, the ending of the book was superb. Sometimes I open a copy of the book and just read the ending.


Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?

A. In December 2019, about a week before I retired from a job in the healthcare field, a coworker commented that I should do something from my bucket list. I immediately replied that I would write a novel. I wondered why I had replied so quickly and with such conviction, as I hadn't thought about writing a book since my adolescence. I took a few writing courses in high school and considered college and a career in writing, but decided to go to nursing school instead. I didn't realize writing a novel was on my bucket list. I planned to try writing a novel from March through December 2020, but when COVID-19 kept me indoors, I started writing every day. Beneath a Blanket of Snow is my first novel. I wrote it in ten weeks.


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