Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
My last book, LIFE IS A TRIP: The Transformative Magic of Travel, contains 14 chapters about fourteen different cultures and what we can learn from them that will change our way of living, loving, parenting, celebrating, being ambitious, solving a family dispute, meeting a mate.
As a travel journalist, I have contributed to 105 international publications. My speciality is peoples’ cultures, and how they think, behave, eat, drink, party, mourn their dead, celebrate, worship. I blog about travel for the Huffington Post and Psychology Today. There is always an element of transformation–how travel can change your life.
I give keynote talks, lead workshops, and occasionally my photojournalist husband and I take people on trips to exotic locales. I was a Hollywood writer and playwright before I became an author and travel writer.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The book, which was just released, is THE SPOON FROM MINKOWITZ: A Bittersweet Roots Journey to Ancestral Lands. It was on three Amazon bestseller lists within a week. I wrote this book to encourage others to find out where they come from, why they love, and who came before them.
When I was a child, I was obsessed with the tiny dot on the map my grandmother came from in Russia. She didn’t want to talk about it, and the less she talked, the more I wanted to know. Like a little dentist, I managed to extract six tiny clues from her. And my life turned into a detective story as I tried to track the clues down.
When I found out that my fiancé came from the same speck on the map, I knew I had to get there. And I did.
My life and marriage will never be the same.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
When I am experiencing something in life, I am writing about it in my head at the same time. So when I sit down to write about it, I have already, in a sense, written it.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Throughout my life, I have been in love with Doris Lessing, The Brontes, Emily Dickinson, Charles Dickens. More recently, Tahir Shah, Richard Zimler (The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon), Martin Prechtel and on and on.
What are you working on now?
Since my book just came out, I can now catch up on articles I want to write. At the moment I’m writing about how the events in Ukraine are deja vu for me–in terms of my ancestors.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
When enthusiastic readers contact me after they have read my new book and tell me they laughed and cried, I ask if they would be willing to post a review on Amazon. Their spontaneous reactions, I think, are helpful to potential readers who are considering buying my book. And I notice that they often buy my last book as well.
My own website, www.GlobalAdventure.us, has reviews and author/book information.
And one reader generously created a Facebook page for The Spoon from Minkowitz. I invite people to that.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write when you have something you HAVE to write about.
It’s a lot of work to write, publish, market a book. Make it something you care about.
And do not listen to naysayers. There are always people who will discourage you.
Follow your heart.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Healing takes place when your mind, your mouth, your heart and your spirit are in synch.
The same is true of writing.
What are you reading now?
I just finished Digging Through the Bible, and Changing Spaces, by my author friend Nancy King.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Communicating. By being interviewed on the radio, giving live talks, blogging. I talk about my work and about writing. I try to inspire others to tell their truth, and I continue telling mine.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
I would be so anxious I’d have to take a book or two on how to deal with anxiety.
And I would want something really long and deep–like the Bible. I’m not religious, but those stories resonate wildly.
I’ll get back to you on the other book or two. I really won’t want to be stranded on a desert island. Even if it were wired.