The ProsenPeople

5 Jewish (Women) Authors Who Inspire Me

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 | Permalink

Earlier this week, Emily Liebert wrote about how her fascination with secrets led to her career in fiction. With the publication of her latest novel, The Secrets We Keep, she is guest blogging as this week’s Visiting Scribe on The ProsenPeople.

Jennifer Weiner

She’s a number one New York Times bestselling author. She’s the author of twelve novels. She throws down with Jonathan Franzen. And she live tweets The Bachelor. What’s not to love? I’ve long been a fan of Jennifer’s—her sardonic wit, her flawed yet authentic characters, and her writing style, which is bold, yet relatable. But what I admire most about Jennifer is her confidence. She refuses to be bullied and that’s a message worth spreading.

Geralyn Lucas

When I first met Geralyn she was cancer-free. I worked as an intern for her at 20/20 on ABC the summer she was diagnosed. To date, I have never seen someone fight cancer with such eternal optimism and such an open heart. It’s with this same spirit that she wrote her first book, Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy, which was not only poignant and powerful, but funny at the same time. That’s Geralyn. Most recently, she wrote her second book Then Came Life, a tribute to survivors of all kinds. Geralyn is also a wife, mother, an award-winning producer, and a women’s health advocate. If that’s not inspiring, I’m not sure what is.

Laura Dave

A critically acclaimed novelist who wrote a book about wine country? Now that’s my kind of girl! I was recently introduced to Laura’s novels through a mutual friend and was instantly hooked. Laura has a unique talent for developing both her characters and her story so that you’re drawn in from the first page. She also leaves you desperate for more once you’ve finished. Not to mention that her work has been published in fifteen countries and three of her four books have been optioned for the big screen.

Elyssa Friedland

This is one smart lady. A graduate of Yale undergrad, Elyssa worked as a lawyer after graduating from Columbia Law School. She also wrote for some major magazines before penning her debut book Love and Miss Communication which asks readers to imagine life without the Internet. And without social media. She had me there. But once I found out she loves, French fries, ice cream, pizza, wine, and Scrabble, I thought perhaps I’d stumbled upon my soul mate.

Susan Jane Gilman

I hate doing readings. For one, I’m more of an off-the-cuff kind of gal. But beyond that, I feel like it’s always boring for my audience. Not so with Susan. I attended a reading of hers shortly after she published The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street and was mesmerized. It was nothing short of brilliant, as is her writing. I immediately bought all of her other books and devoured them. And I’d strongly recommend you do the same!

Emily Liebert is the bestselling author of You Knew Me When, When We Fall, Facebook Fairytales, and Those Secrets We Keep, published Summer 2015.

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Yadda, Yadda, Yadda…

Monday, September 28, 2015 | Permalink

Emily Liebert is the author of Those Secrets We Keep, a novel of the unraveling of friendships, relationships, and assumptions between three women, and will be blogging here all week as a Visiting Scribe on The ProsenPeople.

As someone who grew up in New York City in a Jewish Family and went to a predominately Jewish Elementary and High School, all I did was communicate. No stone was left unturned when it came to disclosing my feelings. Or expressing when someone had done something to upset me. Or even talking just to hear myself talk.

When I first introduced my husband to our chatty clan over dinner at a neighborhood restaurant packed with equally boisterous patrons, he’d come away feeling appropriately confused. “I couldn’t follow any of the conversations, much less get a word in edgewise!” He declared, practically breathless. He was right. “You all speak over each other and finish each other’s sentences.” Right again.

The benefit of having someone from the “outside” bring this to my attention is that I probably never realized how fortunate I was to be part of a family that laid everything out on the table. And, while it may sound like we don’t actually listen to each other, we do. We just have a way of anticipating what the other one is going to say before he or she has the opportunity to say it.

This is probably why my parents have been married for 40 years. And why my husband and I just celebrated our tenth anniversary (clearly he’s adapted!).

This is also probably why I’m intrigued by secrets and the damaging effect they can have on relationships.

When I wrote my first book, a nonfiction entitled Facebook Fairytales, I learned a lot about the things that people dare not conceal and the things they choose to post for the world to see via social media. I mean, how many people’s lives do you think truly reflect their Facebook timeline? How many people have three perfectly tidy children, a perfectly tidy home, and a perfectly tidy existence? No one I know.

After that, I turned to fiction so I could explore through my characters the idea that most people have hidden parts of them they don’t disclose. And what the ramifications of that are.

My first novel, You Knew Me When, reunited two girlfriends who’d had a falling out and didn’t speak for 14 years. Neither of them was happy in life.

In When We Fall, my second novel, I introduced a couple who was once madly in love and, because of lack of communication, were on the verge of a divorce.

And, finally, in Those Secrets We Keep, I threw three strong women who were all harboring life-changing secrets in a house together for three weeks. Let’s just say things combusted in a major way!

Perhaps I’m living vicariously through my characters. Perhaps I need a deep dark secret of my own. Or, perhaps I’ll just keep on sharing. Yadda, yadda, yadda…

Emily Liebert is the bestselling author of You Knew Me When, When We Fall, Facebook Fairytales, and Those Secrets We Keep.

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