This week on Espresso Tales, I catch up with Miriam Drori, author of fiction and non-fiction books, including Social Anxiety Revealed.
Miriam Drori has decided she’s in the fifth and best stage of
her life, and she’s hoping it’ll last for ever. It’s the one in which she’s happiest and most settled and finally free to do what she wants. Miriam lives in a delightful house and garden in Jerusalem with her lovely husband and one of three children. She enjoys frequent trips around the world. She dances, hikes, reads and listens to music. And she’s realised that social anxiety is here to stay, so she might as well make friends with it. On top of that, she has moved away from computer programming and technical writing (although both of those provided interest in previous stages) and now spends her time editing and writing fiction. NEITHER HERE NOR THERE, a romance with a difference set in Jerusalem, was published in 2014. THE WOMEN FRIENDS, co-written with Emma Rose Millar, is a series of novellas based on the famous painting by Gustav Klimt. SOCIAL ANXIETY REVEALED (non-fiction) provides a comprehensive description of social anxiety from many different viewpoints. Future books will include a sequel to NEITHER HERE NOR THERE.
Megan: Miriam, thanks for joining me. Can I get you a tea or a coffee?
Miriam: Thanks for having me. I had coffee for breakfast so I'll have a tea, please. With milk and no sugar.
Megan: Tell me about your latest book.
Miriam: Social Anxiety Revealed, unlike my two previously published books, is non-fiction. It explains all aspects of social anxiety, with the help of many anonymous people who are all much more familiar with social anxiety than they’d like to be. The book is intended for everyone – those who live with social anxiety and those who don’t, because it creates greater understanding of the condition. It has been described as a well-written, no-nonsense book, which pleases me a lot, because that’s what I intended.
Megan: That's wonderful that it has translated on the pages as you hoped. In terms of your writing, what inspired you to start writing?
Miriam: Social anxiety was actually what inspired me to start writing. When I joined a forum for social anxiety sufferers, I realised that a lot of people, whether sufferers or non-sufferers, don’t know the term or understand anything about it, and I decided I wanted to do all I could to raise awareness. The natural way for me to do that was by writing.
I began with the non-fiction book. I then wrote a novel in which the two main characters had social anxiety. Then I joined a writing group and my novel was pulled apart and put together again. I still didn’t find any success with publishing and I realised that my plot wasn’t good enough.
In the meantime, I had some success, first with short stories and then with a romance, which was picked up by the independent publisher, Crooked Cat Books. They also published the historical novella co-written with Emma Rose Millar. When Crooked Cat branched out into non-fiction, they published my book about social anxiety.
Megan: What are you currently working on - are you going to write more fiction or another non-fiction book?
Miriam: I recently took the main characters from my first attempt at a novel and gave them a much more interesting plot. The idea for it came when I attended a writing course. We were told to describe a character, and then to put that character in a country we’d never been to. At that time, I hadn’t been to Japan, but I’d heard a bit about it and enjoyed exploring how a character with social anxiety would fare alone in Japan.
Megan: You've written quite varied books in varied settings. Is that what you like to read too?
Miriam: I like many sorts of books, but generally not science fiction. I particularly like stories in which I understand more than the narrator; they make me feel good! One of those I read recently, is: Three Things about Elsie by Joanna Cannon. I've also read and enjoyed many of the books published by my publisher, Crooked Cat Books.
Megan: Me too! Does writing energise your or exhaust you? Why?
Miriam: Writing energises me. I love being able to lose myself in a world I’ve created, or even in an aspect of the real world. I love being able to express myself in a way I never can when talking. And when I come to a stop or a break, I love to look back at all the words I’ve conjured up.
Megan: Miriam, thanks for joining me.
Miriam: Thank you, Megan. I've enjoyed being here.
To learn more about Miriam and her work, visit her at:
Social anxiety blog