First I outline the chapters, although I'm quite flexible and often change the structure and flow of the book over time. Then I begin the research, an extensive process that never ends until the book is finished. When I feel I've done a sufficient amount of research, the writing starts. For me, writing is predominately a process of continuous editing of what I initially put down on paper.
How many hours a day do you spend reading/writing?
Because I work full time, I now only have the time to write on weekends and holidays. On a free day when I have nothing else going on, I'll spend 5-6 hours or more researching, writing, and editing. I look forward to retirement, when I'll be able to write every day!
What inspires you to continue being a writer? The enormous satisfaction that comes from having written a quality book that entertains and educates readers and also preserves a meaningful slice of history. Resurrecting the Street recounts an important aspect of the overall 9/11 narrative (the devastating impact on the financial markets) that has been completely overlooked to date. Because my book is largely based on over 100 interviews. It also preserves a story that largely would have been lost to history.
If you could have been the author of any novel, which title would it be and why?
There are thousands of books that I would be proud to have authored. One that comes to mind is The Power Broker by Robert Caro. It's a compelling, insightful portrait of an important and complex man, Robert Moses, as well as a brilliant and thorough recounting of the development of the New York City area, where I've lived my whole life.
Do you think you will ever change audiences?
Absolutely. I'm currently working on a family memoir based on my parents, who were Holocaust survivors. It will require a different style of writing and much more character development and self-revelation, and have a very different audience than my first book.
What advice would you give anyone who wants to become a published author?
Researching and writing a book is an enormous undertaking and commitment.
Only do it if you're passionate about what you're writing about.
And do you have a list of favorite books/authors?
Like the music on my Ipod, my literary tastes are vast and quite varied. My favorite categories of books are biographies and histories, particularly of anything or anyone related to World War 2.