Please welcome Marilyn Horowitz, author of The Book of Zev, as she answers a few of our questions!
The Book of Zev is a political thriller that tells the story of two gentle people who change the course of history. Zev Bronfman, a strapping 32-year old-virgin, angry atheist, refugee from a religious Jewish life, and former engineer for the U.S. Patent Office in Alexandria, Virginia, drives a cab and sleeps around in New York City. After a bitter divorce, Sarah Hirshbaum, a beautiful, redheaded, depressed, God-hating kosher chef, seesaws between yoga and too much red wine. Independently, the two consult the same psychic who inadvertently sends Sarah Zev’s session tape. When Sarah contacts Zev to pick up the recording, a series of events forces them to connect with a powerful terrorist in order to thwart his plans to destroy the UN and Israel.
Click here to read an Excerpt of The Book of Zev
Interview with Marilyn
Q: Where did you come up with the idea for this book?
A: The opening quote is what inspired me to want to write this story: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women) to do nothing.”
Q: Was there a person that was your inspiration for this book?
A: I was returning on a train from a screenwriting conference where I’d conducted a workshop on creating great characters using my trademarked writing system, and met a man, a religious Jew, who was having a crisis of faith. We talked for three hours and the next thing I knew, I was writing a book.
Q: Who would you like to thank for getting you where you are today?
A: I would have to start with God, followed by my maternal grandparents, who wrote a book together, Faith through Reason, an attempt to reconcile Judaism and Christianity. I would thank the real person that the character of Sylvie is based on. Then there were my parents, who had a vast library, which I read almost in its entirety. I also thank my first grade teacher, Mrs. Rank, who produced my first play when I was in first grade, and Lou Stanek, a writing teacher who guided me through my first attempts at writing fiction. And finally, I must thank Mrs. Wallace, my third grade teacher, who published my short stories in the school magazine. Then there’s my ex, who helped me develop my writing system, and Michael Zam, who inspired me to write my first nonfiction book on my writing method.
If I had to thank one person above others, it would be my mother, who helped me put together that first play and even made my costume for the play. My mother also edited part of The Book of Zev before she died, and was always my toughest critic.
Q: Tell us how you got yourself to where you are today?
A: I wrote my first play at six, my first “book” when I was eight, and kept going until I went to film school, where I began to write films. A friend asked me to take over her screenwriting class, and after that I began working as a script doctor, producer, and a private writing coach. Years went by and then one day I realized I’d forgotten my dream. My mother was terminally ill, and I suddenly became aware that life is very short. Soon after, I met the man on the train, and three years later, here I am, a soon-to-be- published novelist!
Q: What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
A: Writers, write! Write about everything, write all the time, scribble notes, and be patient with the process. When you are writing and start to stress out, remember that you can’t read the label when you are inside the jar.
The motto of my trademarked writing system is: Don’t Get It Right, Get It Written, and I live by that.
Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?
A: Prolific, happy, healthy, successful, respected and financially secure.
Marilyn Ida Horowitz is a producer, writing coach, and award-winning professor of screenwriting at New York University. From her books on her trademarked writing system—now standard reading at NYU—to her appearances at Screenwriters World and The Great American Screenwriting Conference & PitchFest, Marilyn has guided the careers of literally hundreds of writers. She is currently featured in the Now Write! Screenwriting Anthology (Tarcher/Penguin) and in the upcoming The Expert Success Solution (Morgan James). Her production credits include And Then Came Love (2007), starring Vanessa Williams.
Follow Marilyn at her website, www.marilynhorowitz.com and connect with Marilyn on Facebook