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Friday, June 17, 2011


Asking Questions

Asking Questions

One of the best parts about my profession is getting to be really interesting people. This week I had the honor of re-visiting a really fun writer that I first talked to about 3 years ago and another who had a 1999 Sunday night movie made of his life.

The first person I talked to this week is a former rabbi turned novelist who (at that time) wrote time travel books for kids to get them interested in history. Stacia Deutsch and her partner Rhody Cohon are both best-selling authors in both their names and under pseudonyms. In fact, Stacia-the ½ of the team I got together with this week said that “I recently walked into a Barnes and Noble and saw 9 of my books on the shelves-none of which had my name on them!”

Ah the writers life. But for Stacia, she’s thrilled with the knowledge that kids are indeed reading and enjoying her words AND that she remains anonymous (of sorts) so that she can be there for her 3 teenagers at all times. “I have a good friend who is on the best sellers list (Deutsch has been there as well, but under one of her pseudonyms-ever hear of the “movie book” “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs”?) and she spends her life literally flying all over the place talking about her latest book. I have the privilege of being on the same list, but I get to see my kids every day.”

What I loved about seeing Stacia again was not only getting to do another story about her, but catching up on a personal level-so many of the people I talk to do seem to become cyber-friends of mine. I love it! We e-mail back and forth, we commiserate about both the lack of AND the too much work we have. We talk all kinds of events in our lives and oh, by the way, how are the kids and significant others doing?

The next interview I did was on Dr. Robert Shushan. He is a very nice, gentle and warm person whose story became the subject of the 1999 docudrama starring Donald Sutherland-“Behind the Mask”. He lives in the area of one of the local papers I write for-my editor suggested that I Netflix the movie and get a feel for him before I made the call to write his story. She did and loved it.

With that, my husband ordered it up and we were watching it a mere 4 days later. What a story! I love movies based on a true incident! My husband-not so much. But he enjoyed it quite a bit as well. In fact, he asked if I could ask some questions that he felt he’d love to know the answers too.

When I first caught up with Shushan, he was just as nice as he seemed as played by Sutherland. He was quick to point out that the movie didn’t include 2 of his 3 children.

That’s why the line “based on a true story” must be added to docudramas.

Either way-the more I interview people such as Deutsch and Shushan, the more I want to write about similar people and try to let their light shine-under their own names.

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