Q: How long did it take you to write Shattered Illusions?
A: It took approximately two years to write Shattered Illusions. I began writing it November 2010, during my senior year of high school, and completed it January 2012.
Q: Why did you choose to tell this story as your first full length novel?
A: The characters of the story spoke to me. I created an entire world in my mind and it felt almost unfair to myself and to the characters to leave their stories untold. There was a sense of urgency to write it that I did not feel about any other stories I had.
Q: Are there drawbacks to writing and publishing at such a young age?
A: Yes and No. Yes because I was extremely inexperienced with writing something of such length. I couldn’t wrap my head around even thinking about taking on such a project, but I think projects such as this one have to be attacked head on regardless of age. I was also relatively unaware of how to approach publishing, which made it daunting and overwhelming at first. But, at the end of the day, I think that the gains outweight the draw backs. If not now, when? I truly believe that if I had not given myself the push to begin writing at 18 years old, I would never have the guts to try. Such a journey is something that you learn to maneuver with time, regardless of age.
Q: As an Orthodox Jew, how do you feel that your background as influenced your writing?
A: My background has had a pretty definite influence on my writing. I wouldn’t that it necessarily had an influence on my writing style, but it gave me a deeper sensitivity when approaching certain topics. Especially because there are Orthodox characters in Shattered Illusions, I had to be careful when portraying the standards of the Orthodox community as not to offend my community or portray false thoughts to the general public. Obviously, there were topics that I did not feel comfortable writing about, but on the other hand, there were topics that I felt had to be discussed and brought into the light. Writing with my background and upbringing in mind definitely gave me a firmer foundation with which to build upon, both as a writer as well as a person.
Q: Which authors would you say had the greatest influence on you?
A: That’s a tough question to answer because there are so many. But, I have to pick just two, I would say Carlos Ruiz Zafon and Roberto Bolano were my two major influences. The Gothic writing style I picked up from reading Zafon’s novels, and the deep connection and understanding of my characters came from Bolano. Their writing styles are very similar in a certain respect, and I was able to gain so much insight and understanding about life from their works.
Q: Where do you see yourself going from here?
A: It is difficult to predict what the future holds for me, but whatever it holds, I have faith that things can only go up.
Leigh Hershkovich – Author, blogger and all around book fanatic.
Leigh Hershkovich’s writing career began almost at infancy. Born and raised in The City By The Bay, Leigh was never seen without a pen and paper by her side, and was never without a story to share. With her vivid imagination and sharp writing tactics, Leigh has taken the world by storm twice over. Now, with her debut novel Shattered Illusions, readers will get a first time glimpse into her first full fiction attempt.
An avid reader, accomplished pianist, passionate scholar of language and the arts, Leigh currently resides in New York with her imagination.
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