Hi, and this week I’d like to introduce you all to Renata Lubinsky, author of Around Seattle in 80 Dates.
What is one thing that no-one would usually know about you?
I’m living with and managing my depression for more than ten years.
What did the best review you ever had say about you and your work?
“The Most Empowering Book for Women that I Read Recently
I’ve finished reading this book after being bored reading my books. It was great to read this book. I felt like on an emotional roller coaster: one minute I’m terrified for Renata, the writer, while in the next minute I’m laughing and rejoicing for her. This book is her own account of dating 80 men after her divorce from her husband for 32 years. I totally identified with her and I’m sure other women will resonate with her story as well. For me, this book empowers women to make bold decisions and stick to them and not give up happiness in life. Renata showed her resourcefulness, wit, sincerity, and courage in achieving her goal: be happy no matter what. I admire you, Renata. You’re an amazing woman.”
What did the worst review you ever had say about you and your work?
Some of the stories, in my book, have very intriguing titles. I get a lot of WOW when people look at the content… Yup, this was my intention.
The lady who left one-star review below read few sentences and jumped to conclusions very fast. Oh well, not everybody is going to love my book, right?
“I saw this book in the locker room of my gym and thought it looked cute – great premise – and thought I might get it for some single friends. Flipped through and saw a chapter called “Once I went Black.” Surely, I thought, this couldn’t be what the title sounded like. Maybe she went goth and wore all black to a date. But no, it was about dating a black man. My skimming of the chapter revealed fetishizing, tokenizing, and stereotyping of black men. “I’ve always wanted to date a black man,” the author says (blackness is not a place that you visit, but an identity, and a marginalized one at that. It is not an exotic land for you to visit.) Attractive men dressed in brightly colored suits at a party described as pimps (really). References to this one experience were described as “so this is what it’s like to date a black man” (Do you think that after you go on a date with a white man? “So this is what it’s like to date a white man?” No, you don’t – because white people get to be individuals, while people of color are lumped together and have to represent their whole group.) I could go on and on but I couldn’t read any more. I wish it would be removed from the locker room at my gym and feel for any woman of color who picks it up and reads that chapter.”
Are the names of your characters important to you?
Very much – from the book:
” And so, it began. I found most of my dates online. Strangely, sixty percent of the men I dated/met/chatted with were named Mike. So, to make things easier, all the men in my stories are called Mike, with either a number, corresponding to where they were in my “eighty dates” list, or I assigned them a nickname. I notified the significant Mikes about my project, and all were on board and supportive.”
How did you choose a title for your book?
From the book – “Soon after I started dating, I found myself driving around Issaquah, a lovely town snuggled near the mountains outside of Seattle where I lived. The local theatre was playing the classic, Around the World in 80 Days. An epiphany! This was precisely what I was going to do—a twist on the theme. I would experience Seattle in eighty dates. I loved touring the city, visiting the local bars, learning about the area, you name it. What could be better than doing that while going out with a new guy to a new place on each occasion? Perfect! A win-win situation for all involved.”
Are there any occupational hazards to being an author?
Wrist issues, back pain, and going to sleep too late, as one needs to write few more words, re-read a chapter, a new idea…
Have you ever wished that you could be or do anything else instead of writing, and if so what?
I have published my first book at the age of fifty-one – I can say that I always wanted to write a book and knew I will write one – one day.
Fifteen years ago, I shared the writing passion and the dream of writing a book with a girl-friend that laughed at me. I shared with her the link to Amazon once my book was published.
So, yes – this was a dream that has been with me for years.
As a mother, I published short stories, in parenting sites.
As I have a day job — Senior Business Analyst for a Financial Institution —I had the opportunity to travel the world and relocate to different areas in the world with my family and alone. Something always happened to me, and I had to put it into notes – and play with the words around it. Everything around me makes me think about it as a story, a standup piece, a new chapter or message to others that needs to be written.
Do you think there is any elitism attached to the different genres of books, both in the fiction and non-fiction worlds?
Never thought about it before, but now that you are asking… I do see an exclusiveness to non-fiction, as a real person went through an explicit experience. It means to spill your guts, which means a full exposure – not easy and can get very personal with readers, for good and bad.
Who would you like to play you in a film of your life?
What is the single biggest challenge you faced when writing your book?
Language/vocabulary/grammar. My first language(s) is(are) not English – I was raised in Hebrew, Polish and Arabic.
Do you have any hints or tips for aspiring writers?
Make sure you schedule a meeting with yourself to sit down and write. Do not wait for “when you feel like it.”
How do you remain sane while working?
I still have my day job, and it helps me stay grounded. And then in the weekends, I sometimes forget everybody and just sit and write for hours.
What is the best excuse you have ever come up with for missing a deadline?
I don’t miss a deadline, unless somebody is dead. That is me 😊 at work and in my private life. If I promised to deliver something to you, it will be there on time.
What has been the best experience you have ever had in your life?
Thanks to a two weeks business trip I had to India, I continued for another week to an Indian resort in Goa – and for the first time in my life for the last 20 years, alone. No kids and no husband. Everything that happened to me in these three weeks, both my business travel and my private one, were full of new adventures, people, culture, colures, food and so much more.
Are you jealous of other writers?
Yes, but in a good way. For example – I love how XYZ is writing, I wish I could meet her for a drink. Or – He is sooooooooooooo funny, how does he get these ideas?
Where do you find your inspiration?
All around me – every second can become a new story. I meet a lot of new people during my week, and something always happens. Reflection on the past, with things that happen to me in the present, is also a good tool I found lately, to see things in a years after they took place, give you a different perspective – and sometimes closes a circle.
What was the most important thing you learned at school?
How to sit on my ass and do things, even if I don’t enjoy doing them. Finish, do my best and leave it behind me.
Tea, Coffee, Water, Juice, Wine or Beer … which do you prefer when writing?
Funny, didn’t think about it before, but really nothing. I love wine, beer, my vodka/ tequila shot when we go out, weed is legal in Seattle so no problem if you like it, but I just realized it thanks to your question – nothing 😊 I just need to sit and write.
If you could commit the perfect murder where would you hide the body?
Now you made me think who would I like to see dead… Once I’ll finish the list I’ll get back to you… just kidding.
You can find Around Seattle in 80 Dates in Kindle and Paperback format here: :
You can meet Renata on Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17709671.Renata_M_Lubinsky
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