Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Next Year in Jerusalem - Guest Post

I am so excited to bring you the guest post on Net Year in Jerusalem!  I have this on my "to read list" (next year!) and can't wait to get started!

Life in the First Draft
Writing the first draft of Next Year in Jerusalem! Romance, Mystery & Spiritual Awakenings, was a most amazing experience.  It all started over lunch with a dear friend.  As we bemoaned the loss of a special spiritual teacher in our lives we began to imagine a movie around a similar woman's disappearance.  Before we knew it, I was writing a movie plot on paper napkins that involved two characters, much like ourselves, except younger and open to amazing adventures.

Those notes led to the first draft of the book, which I began to write on the computer late at night.  At first I really hated the two main characters.  Neither had enough life or depth to them once I left the napkins behind.  That was resolved when I got some mentoring.  I learned about creating a 'back story' even if all doesn't appear in the book and also how to work from what I knew, but yet make it fiction.
The plot and characters then moved along a great neck speed.  Over the next six months I wrote a few pages at a time a few times a week.   Six months later I had over 300 pages and realized that the plot was so dramatic as to qualify to be a cliff-hanger series.  Realizing I had a series, rather than a book, I went back to clean up what would be the first three books of the series.

The first draft really flowed from me.  The re-writes also did.  What was a bit of torture was the editing.  That was tedious and required professional help.  I probably spend at least 3 months just cleaning.  But the basic trilogy never changed.  Natalie and Maggie had determined what I would be saying and sharing about each of them.  And the mystery woman, also, Chaya Sarah, was  also able to let me know how the mysteries around her would develop.  What was the real shock for me was how Jack, Natalie's old boyfriend, (Natalie is married) would pursue Natalie.  Also, I was unprepared for all the romance that would happen to Maggie, who is divorced.

However, I just knew the characters had a better spin on their lives than I did, so I went with it.  I hope you will enjoy reading Part 1 of Next Year in Jerusalem!

Next Year in Jerusalem Book Excerpt
Natalie didn't tell David (her husband)about her other dream, the one about Jack, the Jewish fellow from Chicago who'd been around to save her from despair after she decided she wasn't moving to Iraq. A diamond salesman, Jack now lived in London and traveled back and forth to Israel all the time.
Natalie prided herself on staying in touch with lots of people from her past. Jack was one of them. Occasionally they e-mailed and he'd friended her on Facebook two years ago. Although they hadn’t written recently, if he read her Facebook page he would know she was going to Jerusalem. What if he tried to see her? What if there was still an attraction? Would she tell David? Would he care? Would she act out?
Her life with David was so good and stable and predictable. And boring!
Did I just say boring?
No, she must have meant solid. Or did she mean solid?
Oh, I'm a wreck. I'm miserable and I can't sleep, she continued to obsess. What about that cute secretary at the college? The one who has a sparkle in her eye whenever she talks to David? How old is she? Forty-two? Divorced and sexy. How would I know if something’s going on there?
I'm going crazy lying here, she began again. Where’s the Xanax? Already packed. Oh, that was dumb.

About Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, internationally known positive psychologist, inspires thousands with her ENCHANTED SELF®. Around the world people benefit from her techniques to enhance well-being, and to live up to their potential. Known for her ability to make complex psychological concepts easy to understand and to implement, she has now turned her talents to novel writing.  "A great fiction read is a great escape, and yet, it is more! It is the gateway to new ways of thinking and behaving."

Dr. Holstein received her Doctorate in Education from Boston University and her BA degree from Barnard College. Dr. Holstein has been a school psychologist and taught first and second grades. She is in private practice with her husband, Dr. Russell M. Holstein, in Long Branch, New Jersey. Find her at

Her previous books include:
·       THE ENCHANTED SELF, A Positive Therapy
·       Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU!
·       The Truth (I'm a girl, I'm smart and I know everything)
·       Seven Gateways to Happiness: Freeing Your Enchanted Self.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.