Reviewer Chris Phillips: Chris is a veteran editor for friends
and family as well as most of his employment positions. He often
finds himself reading a book and correcting problems he discovers,
even after their works have been published by well-known
publishers. Chris enjoys writing to authors, when
possible, and discussing problems he has seen in the reading of their
work. And as he states, “there is always the chance for great
intelligent conversation whenever creative minds get together.”
Today, Chris Phillips, one of Bookpleasures reviewers interviews Maureen Sherbondy author of The Slow Vanishing.
From my telephone conversation with Maureen, I came back with a wonderful feeling that I and other readers can expect great things from Maureen. She was very open and honest as well as articulate. Many of the questions were answered before I could get them out of my mouth. It was a delight to conduct this interview. Maureen keeps herself busy with readings, workshops and classes. She has an open mike night at a local coffee shop.
Her writing workshops and classes at area schools and colleges are well attended. She and other authors do readings at some extended care facilities, or as requested at bookstores, etc. Her website states, “Maureen Sherbondy has been writing her entire life. She can sometimes be spotted lurking in coffee shops around Raleigh, North Carolina, working on whatever piece of fiction or poetry is currently wreaking havoc on her mind. Peruse the site to learn more.” (http://www.maureensherbondy.com/).
These short stories are very good. Do you write anything longer, say a novella or a full length novel? Why or why not?
The short stories come from the inspiration for them and the fact that I’m a poet as well. I am working on a young adult novel, Lucky Brilliant, right now. It is about a young girl whose father is murdered because he had the winning lottery ticket. About one month after that, she starts getting newspapers that only she can see. They tell her what is going to happen the next day.
I also have two books of poetry recently published.
Praying at Coffee Shops and After the Fairy Tale
(available from her publisher
Some of the stories could be right out of the paper but others require some break with reality to understand. Where do you find your inspirations?
I get my inspirations from everything. Many writers are keenly observant people particularly watching people around them. I know that each story has a line or a thought that inspired that tale.
For instance, “Creatures” was inspired by my doorbell ringing and my first thought was what if it was an animal at the door instead of a person?
The ideas come from a very vivid imagination, and what I would like to think is a child-like look at life and the people around me. And finally I get some from bits and pieces of conversation I hear or that strike me as a good idea to write a story about.
Could you give us some more examples?
Sure, “Stolen House” was from a newspaper article where two men stole a house to buy drugs. I wanted to see where I could take it if someone was doing it for a good reason.
“The Final Simcha” is mostly about my life and having to do three bar mitzvahs in a row. Also what I observed at temple or when watching others around me.
“Eva Beneath the Stars” is purely a random thought. “A Comic Tale” sprang from the first line of the story and I developed a world around that statement.
I see from your website that you are very open and even have your own open-mike night. Can you tell me what your plans are for appearances, events, book signings, etc. over the next few months?
Yes as a matter of fact I just returned from The North Carolina Literary Festival in Chapel Hill. I read as well as other authors, John Hart, John Grisham, Lee Smith, Elizabeth Edwards, and others. I run the open mike mentioned on my website (http://www.maureensherbondy.com/). I will be at the following on these dates.
November 8th 2:00 PM McIntyre's Fine Books
Fearrington Village 2000 Fearrington Village Center
Pittsboro, NC 27312
November 5th, 7:00 PM, The Royal Bean Coffee Shop
Open Mike Night
3801-137 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh NC