Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Blog Tour: Over My Live Body by Susan Israel

Click HERE for more tour information and details.

Welcome to The Wormhole and my stop on the tour.
It is my pleasure to feature Susan Israel and Over My Live Body.

Susan has stopped by for an interview:

About me as an author:

1) I started writing when I was in grade school and my first (really bad!) effort at a novel was in 7th grade. Writing was a good way for me to retreat from the rather merciless bullying that was endemic in my school and the town I lived in. I turned bullies into villains! My English exercises read like stories and I don't think my teachers 'got' it. One of them did, in high school. Thank you ever so much, Mrs. Gray.

2) I've had eclectic jobs, one of which (art model) directly led to my writing Over My Live Body. I also worked right after college (in the late '80s) filing cards alphabetically for the card catalog that is now obsolete, raising funds for private colleges (I was an evil telemarketer!) and fact-checking for a series of travel books; the best perk of that temp job was calling foreign countries and practicing language skills.

4) I listen to a lot of 24/7 news and this provides great fodder for plots and characters, particularly in crime writing since there never seems to be a shortage of crime. What is challenging is deciding how characters respond to the circumstances I foist on them. Sometimes someone's appearance will spur me to create a character based on him or her. I created the character Violet Velez in my second novel, Student Bodies, after seeing a middle-school-age girl in the library with purple hair. And yes, I still turn bullies into villains.

About me as a person:

1) The books that most influenced my life growing up were To Kill A Mockingbird and The Diary Of A Young Girl. I think the lessons in those books still stay with me.

2) When I'm busy working on a book, I find it too distracting to read others. I don't want to be influenced or subliminally compare what I'm reading to what I'm writing.

3) When I'm not writing, I watch baseball/basketball/football (the sport of whatever season it is), play with my dog, read fashion and gossip magazines (seriously!) and make like a sloth.

4) I'm not sure if Thai food qualifies as comfort food, but Drunken Noodles would be it!

5) A good story is one that keeps you turning the pages long after you should have turned off the light. Books I stayed up VERY late reading include Breakfast of Champions (Kurt Vonnegut) and The Snow Leopard (Peter Matthiessen)

Fun questions:

Dogs or cats? Dogs!

Coffee or tea? Iced coffee

Dark or milk chocolate? Either

Rocks or flowers? Can I suggest a different answer? Shells?

Night or day? Night!

Favorite color: Orange

Crayons or markers? Crayons

Pens or pencils? Pen- even for the NYT crossword puzzle.

More about Susan Israel:
Susan Israel lives in Connecticut with her beloved dog, but New York City lives in her heart and mind. A graduate of Yale College, her fiction has been published in Other Voices, Hawaii Review and Vignette and she has written for magazines, websites and newspapers, including Glamour, Girls Life, Ladies Home Journal and The Washington Post. SheĆ¢€™s currently at work on the second book in the Delilah Price series, Student Bodies. 

Book Description:

Delilah is accustomed to people seeing her naked. As a nude model – a gig that keeps food on the table while her career as a sculptor takes off – it comes with the territory.

But Delilah has never before felt this vulnerable.

Because Delilah has an admirer. Someone who is paying a great deal of attention to her. And he just might love her to death.

The debut of a shockingly fresh voice in suspense fiction, OVER MY LIVE BODY will work its way inside of you.


I’ve gone from posing in one studio to posing in another in less than an hour. Ordinarily I don’t complain about the cold. I don’t move before I’m told to. I try to be the model I’ve never had the good luck to hire. But today I feel like I’m lugging around a portfolio of hypersensitivity along with my usual artist supplies and it’s not even justified. Here, I’m among friends.

The instructor of this class has drawn a chalk outline of where I’m supposed to lie and indicates the pose she wants me to strike, that of a classic come-to-my-casbah odalisque. I feel my calf muscles tighten as I scrunch up into the framework of the drawing on the floor. There are no new faces in this class, no surprises, I’ll be forgiven if I twitch or scratch an itch. Morgan, one of the best artists and my best friend, has brought poppy seed pound cake and stops what he’s doing to tiptoe over and feed me morsels of it. “Should be grapes,” the instructor says. Someone down the hall is playing Carmen on a boom box. “Should be Scheherezade,” Morgan says, winking at me.

The wink isn’t misunderstood, wouldn’t be even if Morgan wasn’t gay. 
We artists are like a cast ensemble in repertory. Many of us have seen each other nude in classes. I’m dressed in the part I’m playing. It’s when I change locations, freelance in other schools, that I’ve felt uncomfortable and I’ve tried not to do that too often. I try not to, but sometimes I need the money to buy extra supplies or pay off mounting bills and I have to do it, like I did last night. I sometimes say never again, never again! What do I need this aggravation for? I feel smarmy; it makes me fight with Ivan more. Except, like a new enrollee in some 12-step program, I’m learning to recognize what I have and haven’t the power to change and ironically now that I’ve decided to kick Ivan and his half of the rent money out, I’m going to have to pay more bills than ever, starting with the new lock I’m having installed.

“Delilah, you moved!”