1. Please introduce yourself. Tell us a little about the person behind the pen.
First of all, let me thank you for your kind invitation. I’m an Argentine author, translator, psychoanalyst, and an English Language and Literature teacher, as well as a wife and mother and a friend to my friends. I spent my youth traveling, studying, and working around the world. I love reading, animals, nature, knitting, and cooking, so it would be accurate to say that the person behind the pen is both multifaceted and complex 🙂
2. What made you decide to write (the genre of your book), were there any influencing factors, or were any of the stories based on true events.
My mom was a great writer, and I played at writing before I knew what was at stake. I’ve written ever since I can remember, but began to publish children’s stories in my thirties. Then there came a long period of “abstinence”, until a stupid discussion about suicide prompted me to write my first novel, “Just Toss the Ashes”, in 2005. I am now working on my fourth novel, after having published two others, four self-help books, a guide to Joyce’s Ulysses, and a biography of Korean filmmaker Kim-ki Duk. My fiction deals with real life; thus, it is triggered by true events, although I do not write about any particular person or real situation. I tend to focus on the unpalatable side of life, drawing attention to what people would rather not hear about. Going against the grain will not earn me a place among best-selling authors for sure, but I have no regrets.
3. How do you promote your book, and do you find that difficult or just par for the course.
The truth is I do not do much to promote my books. Once they are out of my hands, I leave that to the publisher, who does what he can. I have tried some resources, but don’t find them helpful. In the long run, my books sell either because people find me “interesting” -*grin*- and are intrigued about my work or because readers recommend them to friends. “Just Toss the Ashes” has been selling steadily since it was first published, and that is a remarkably long time for a novel to keep in the loop.
4. Do you remember your first review and how it made you feel? (If it was a bad one, also tell about your good one too).
My first review was not bad, but the critic who wrote it for an American online magazine specializing in Latin American literature read the Spanish version, and I’m afraid her Spanish wasn’t good enough to cope with the nuances of the language. How it made me feel? I just wanted to kill her. There were many others for the English version, all of them showing full understanding and appreciation of the novel.
5. Tell us about your book and if it’s a series and how the public is reacting to this book.
I don’t write series. This particular book explores suicide and its sequels, through the journey the dead woman’s son undertakes to find out about a mother he didn’t really know. The public has embraced it as a means to understand something that may be unthinkable or taboo, depending on each person’s take on the meaning of life. Also, many people that experienced a loss through suicide approached me to tell me that the novel had proved healing.
6. Can you share any and all links that are important to you as a person and the book? (You can relate more to a book if you know more about the author).
The direct link to the book and its reviews is http://www.amazon.com/Just-Toss-the-Ashes-ebook/dp/B0010XG5VY/ref=la_B009TC8C5A_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1382720711&sr=1-5
Other interesting links are my website http://www.martamerajver.com.ar/marta/
My Amazon page if you’re interested in my other books,
my Facebook pages in English and Spanish https://www.facebook.com/martamerajverkurlat
and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marta-Merajver-Kurlat-Talleres-de-Lengua-y-Literatura-Ingl%C3%A9s-y-Espa%C3%B1ol/413887565360477?ref=hl (2077 people following)
Last but not least, The Write Room Blog, a wonderful group in which thirty-odd writers work and publish http://www.thewriteroomblog.com
There’s also a Pinterest site that reveals a lot about me
7. I’ll wrap it up with this question since “7” is a lucky numberJ. Can you share an excerpt from your book, and I’d like to thank you so much for taking time to share your book with me. Please share as much as you’d like.
Let me give you an excerpt that describes how the dead woman’s psychiatrist feels after he learns she has committed suicide:
“Heading downtown from his luxurious home in Martínez, he went over the Sylvia case in his mind, since he would not have time to stop by the office to pick up his notes. He would do it later and possibly use them to present a paper at the next conference. He wondered fleetingly why he hadn’t seen it coming, but discarded the notion almost violently. He wasn’t a magician and she had deceived him. One way or another, patients always lie whether they know it or not, and they always hide things, even when they don’t intend to. Dr. Garnet intuited that this act was not the result of a sudden impulse, but rather had been carefully planned and that, in a way, she had used him, sometimes as a pawn and sometimes as a king, in a game of chess. As a pawn he was disposable and to top it off, she had checkmated him. She had shut down all movement with no warning, sending up smoke screens that had kept him from seeing what she was up to. And now, she had wiped him off the board. Looking for a parking spot, he was frankly angry. The suicide of a patient that he had diagnosed as non-suicidal could damage his professional reputation. Not to mention that the family could lay the blame on him publicly as well as privately.
This…”lady” had been a hard nut to crack from the start.”
Thanks again, Lori, for having me on your page. I feel honored, for I very much admire you and your work!
*** Marta is a WONDERFUL author and par excellent’ colleague. She is caring and warm hearted and I strongly encourage you to read her work! Thank you so much Marta for allowing me to interview you.
19 thoughts on “Featured Author: MARTA MERAJVER-KURLAT”
One of the best interviews I’ve read.
When i first met Marta a couple of years ago, it was through one of her posts. She did not post a picture then, however, I was immensely intrigued with her. Finally, one day she commented back to one of my posts, and i was thrilled. I just knew she was a woman and writer, I wanted to know. I am sooooo very glad I did get to know her as she has been and still is a great inspiration to me. I read her book, Just Toss the Ashes, and right away i could see the versatility in her personas.
That’s when I found the courage to tell Marta, I felt as though I had fallen into a dark hole with my writing, (not because of her wonderful book), however because I had being discouraged by family members. She explained to me, (I wonder if you remember sister) that family will do that sometimes, and I should continue on. She then asked to read my writing, and continued encouraging me, often, still does. Had i not met her, I might have given up on something that means the world to me. I also learned from Marta that, it’s okay to write with grit. For that I’m appreciative as well.
So happy to call you sister,
Love you tons,
Oh Pat, I remember every single detail about how we cemented our wonderful relationship. I have much to thank you for, besides the fact that I love your writing and that I’m proud you’ve picked me as your sister. All my love, Marta.
Always my dear friend. Thank you for everything too. I’ve grown because of you. You’re the best. hugs and love
I really like the way you have presented Marta and I will comment only on one of the comments in her answers that struck me although I could write forever about her.
Marta, even though you don’t consider yourself to be a bestselling author, I consider you to be one of the most proliferate authors of our time that write fiction with realistic honesty. Your books remove the rose colored glasses from people’s eyes, if they will let it. You have a sharp-cutting honesty combined with integrity that will challenge any person who encounters you to look at themselves in a mirror and examine themselves. This doesn’t mean that you are arrogant in any way. These qualities that you have, instead have intensified your emotions and cause you to love from the heart genuinely as you reach out to others.
You have depths within yourself, Sis, that are still not explored and as you move beyond and towards those points to discover yourself, you will continue to evolve into that human being that moves towards enlightenment.
I see that happening in your life and I’m happy to walk with you on your journey.
I love you.
Patti, I know how you feel about me and my writing. You are one of the best people in my life, and I’m deeply grateful that we are sisters. Your company along my journey is a true gift.
Thank you Lori for giving us the opportunity to learn more about Marta’s life and writing. Another great interview.
Thank you for stopping by and for your constant support, Laurie!
You’re always welcome Marta.
Every post I read about you Marta, teaches me a little more about the woman I call sister. This one is no exception. Yes, “going against the grain” has it’s drawbacks in the literary community, but in my opinion, the goal of any literary work is to evoke feelings…good or bad. As a writer, when you can do that, you have touched the essence of the reader…their soul. Beautiful post my sister!
Great author to feature Lori…well done,
Thank you, my dearest Taylor. I fully agree with you about the goal of literature, but sometimes writers’ goals are at odds with it 🙂
Each time I read about an author, I learn more about them and their character. Marta is an intriguing woman. She has such passion for people and her work. I’m happy to have learn more about “Just Toss the Ashes.” This sounds like a great read.
We share the passion, Cherrye. I greatly admire your work against bullying, and you’d probably enjoy JTTA. Thanks for taking the time to read the interview!
Great interview, Marta, enjoyed reading it!
Thank you, Mike. Looking forward to your book! I’m sure I won’t be disappointed.
What a great interview, Marta. I enjoyed reading through this! Thanks!
Raani, your continual support is very important to me. Thank YOU for that!
Lori, I’m deeply grateful for showcasing my work and taking an interest in the person behind the pen. I’m one of your most fervent admirers!
Such a wonderful interview from Marta. I enjoyed not only reading “Just Throw The Ashes”, but also getting to know the author as a person. Thanks Lori for providing this glimpse of a very fine and talented author. Much success, Marta. Good things should come your way.
Thank you for your kindness and friendship, Cynthia dear. It feels good to be among my favorite writers here, on the blog of another favorite writer.
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