Interview with Kerry Friedmann

When did you first start writing and why ?
My addiction to roll playing conversations in my head was something I have always struggled with. I think everyone experiences this, some more intense than others.

The birth of these snippets was an attempt to cure the continuous and exhausting chitter chatter going on in my brain. With the controversy of falling pregnant out of wedlock (age 29 years)and the dark years that followed, these conversations got severely out of control. Added, I was riddled with guilt for bringing a child into this world, a cruel harsh world that I did not want to be part of.The huge financial stress accompanied with the pretence that ‘I was coping’, resulted in total exhaustion. Overwhelmed, feeling deeply alone with my thoughts and feelings, I hit rock bottom. I hit that space where I believed that the only way out, the only way to end the madness between my mind and the hardcore world out there, would be to end my life and take my child with me. That seemed so much safer and peaceful.

Yet in that space I clutched onto what I hoped would be a life saving solution to protect my child. I came up with a game plan. One last shot at trying to do this really difficult thing called life. Not to mention life as a single parent. In desperation I made a bizarre contract with myself. Every time I started roll-playing conversations in my head, I had to replace those chats with a funny-once-upon-a-time-type story. Inspiration and subject matter was based on my day-to-day and other people’s experiences, events and situations that popped into my world. And so the snippets were born. And as the snippets grew, they contributed immensely to quieting down my mind and getting me through one day at a time.
What's the story behind your latest book?
After years of writing in my head, I decided it was time to put my snippets down on paper. It was only once I read a completed snippet that I realized what each snippet represented. And not just for me, but for a whole bunch of other single mothers out there. And not just Jewish women dealing with the taboos of single parenting, but a broader community of people, who were trapped in the condemnation and judgments of 'what society says is normal and what is meant to be'!

The Main theme;
The taboos of single Jewish parenting and failing pregnant out of wedlock with a non-Jewish man whom one hardly knows.
Sub themes ;
#The Politics of human sexuality; a journey of a woman trying to figure out and explore her own sexuality.
#Sending up and taking on the legal system, family advocates and psychologists.
#A spiritual healing journey, a poke at all religion & esotericism, and a big poke at Zara Zee (aka myself).
#Through forgiveness we can find humor

So now I hope to communicate what so many women truly feel but do not feel safe to talk about for fear of being rejected or frowned upon. Hopefully I am simply just putting it out there. Putting out a whole bunch of truthful stuff that others feel but are just unable to say.

Ps Did I mention that through forgiveness we are able to find humor?
Pps This not a feminist burning bra message tale either.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Aaah a few things; Fear & time. Once I had made the decision to put my story out there, the fear of being rejected by an agent or a publisher was overwhelming. Apparently it can take many years from submitting query letters to hopefully getting published. Perhaps I would already be six feet under by the time I found the right agent with the right publisher that resonated with me and my writing.

My daily mantra to artists and bands in the music industry is to first attempt to go the indie route. Own your work, own your creativity, gather momentum before signing your life away to major record label. I guess the same should apply to my own creativity.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I stumbled upon Smashwords, researching how to go about ebook publishing. My book is still to be released (aimed for the 20 Sept 2013), but Smashwords guidelines, advice, support structure and Mark Coker's recommended list of helpers is priceless. Through Mark's list I contracted the dynamic Shelley Glasow Schadowsky (www.goodlifeguide.com) for digital formatting, resulting in the Snippets being accepted onto Smashwords Premium Catalogue.

My work in the music industry is exhilarating. I'm driven by passion and desire to succeed, problem solving comes with ease. I'm humbled and full of gratitude that I get work with South Africa's top artists. Yet with my personal creativity, I feel vulnerable and intimidated. This leads to endless procrastination. Smashwords took the task from daunting to doable with one swift move.The fact that I have managed just to get to this point, so-far, is a success story for me. The only problem I have now is dealing with my fear of rejection which leads to further self-imposed delay. Can somebody help me push the 'publish button' ? Please !
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It cure's the continuous and exhausting chitter chatter, role playing conversation banter going on in my brain. Phew!
What do your fans mean to you?
Gosh - If I could get to the bit where I have fans - I will be humbled.
What are you working on next?
Snippets 2. 'No longer on the guest list'.

Another black comedy dealing with teenage and parent relationships, the loss of youth or the gain of wisdom, the awful realization that you are too old to be on 'the guest list' of that hip and trendy social scene.

Sneak pre view snippet; WhatsApp conversation( teen going on holiday);
Teen "Mumsy saying good bye to you at the airpoirt was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do"
Mom " Yip for me too ..... besides falling pregnant out of wedlock with a non- Jewish man that I hardly knew :-0 "
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My daughter.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work in the music biz, and do the chicken run; schlepp the teen, run the home, horse ride, yoga. Oh and I'm a closet criminologist. (its a true story)
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Either by googling a title, or random discoveries on various digital book outlets/ stores.
What is your writing process?
I write everything in my head. No pre planning. When I start having annoying role playing conversations with myself, I try to push my mind to move into creative comedic story telling. By the time it comes to put pen to paper - the entire snippet, page, thought is complete. I can store that information in my brain for months, often years before I start typing or physically writing.

Once its down, I then look at editing and structure.

I have never been able to simply sit in front of my computer and oooze out divine words of lyrical wisdom.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Yes I was seven years. It was a book called 'Six Million did Die'. A photo journal of the German concentration camps during WW2. The images shocked me. I still get that gut wrenching sickening terrifying feeling in my tummy when I reflect back on that day. A day that took me many months to get over.
Describe your desk
Desk ?
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was in born in South Africa Johannesburg and moved to Cape Town at the age of 18 years to study at the University of Cape Town. Public signs like Whites Only, No Women, No dogs were not uncommon. Growing up with white Jewish guilt in an *Apartheid regime came with a diverse set of complicated shape-shifting contradictions.

However shape-shifting my way through life was an art that I had skillfully mastered by my mid twenties. In spite of the kugels finding me too ethno bongo, the ethno bongo’s finding me too fashionetty, the trendoids too muesli-and-sandals, the surfers too hip, the hip too eccentric, scum of the yuppies, yuppie of the scum - whatever - somehow I managed to shape shift my way through each click, crew, clang, gang with ease.

But the art of shape - shifting simply did not offer any rules or schemes with single parenting. All of the above without a doubt has influenced my writing - and weaves its way through out my snippets.

*Apartheid: social and political policy of racial segregation and discrimination enforced by white minority governments in South Africa from 1948 to 1994.
When did you first start writing?
In High School.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes - it was a short story when I was 16 years. The title was 'Stop the World I want to get off'. With the use of semantics and a vibrant palette of multi - colored oil paints, I explored, questioned and tried to find resolution from suffering with Anorexia.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
When I know ... I will let you know ... still learning and exploring.
Who is your target audience ?
Target audience: The less conservative, edgy, progressive, alternative, parents, parents-to-be, women, men, gay, straight. If you enjoyed reading 'Eat Prey Love', 'The Monk who sold his Ferrari', 'Fuck it, the ultimate Spiritual way', and watching comical TV series like ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ or the movie 'Juno' , the snippets should appeal to you.
Published 2013-09-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The M.I.L.F diary Snippets
Price: Free! Words: 30,740. Language: English. Published: September 20, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy, Nonfiction » Sex & Relationships  » Women's sexuality
Meet Zara Zee, band manager addicted to role playing conversations in her head. On falling pregnant out of wedlock with a non-Jewish man, Zara tackles the taboos of single parenting. Supported by the gay aesthete, now ordained The God Father, she comically befuddles & fumble’s her way through each snippet of life-in-labour and parenthood. An intriguing insight into the politics of human sexuality.