What is the best thing that I love about my work? Tapping into the ocean of my imagination. Crawling under the skin of the protagonist and experience the events through her.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? Having access to all that’s free and starts with an “S”: sunset, sea, shore, snow, sand—and success.
What is my greatest fear? Physical limitation, bodily incapacity to do what it craves to do.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? My foreign accent. I’ve worked on it until it is only mild, but it’s clearly there.
What is my greatest extravagance? Leaving the lights on outside the room so when I step out I am not in the dark.
On what occasion would I lie? To spare someone’s feelings.
What is the influence of role models, in my work and in my life? My mother instilled in me a great intensity and urgency regarding my work or the completion of any given task. On the other hand, her concern about what other people might think made me go the other way; I can’t let others’ opinions dictate what I do with my life.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Being interrupted. Writing is like being in a dream, where I see the sights, hear the sounds, and smell the scent. I can’t wake up from that trance to take a phone call and then return to the dream.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? I am happy when I write, I am happy when I edit ad nauseam, I’m happy when my novels get great accolades, and I am happy when I speak in front of audiences that share my passions.
If I could, what would I change about myself? Whatever needs change, I take action and work hard to implement that change.
What is my greatest achievement in work? The Protective Parent Reform Act which I helped launch after the publication of my novel, PUPPET CHILD. March 2007, when I presented at the U.N. my findings about infanticide in China through the research for my novel CHINA DOLL. In my previous career, teaching business skills to women in Russia shortly after the fall of communism. (An experience chronicled in my latest novel, HOTEL MOSCOW.) My keynoting about 300 events so far, speaking about women’s issues and raising awareness to them.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? My office, overlooking the Hudson River.
What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? Local, unpretentious restaurants of various origins: Indians, Turkish, Mediteraneean.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My husband, Ron. His support—emotional, physical and financial—made it possible for me to launch my writing career twenty-three years ago, and it has continued unwavering.
Whom would I like to work with in the future? My editor at HarperCollins, Kate Nintzel, is simply the greatest.
What project, in the nearby future, am I looking forward to work on? I am at work writing my 5th novel, the most heart-wrenching of all my books so far….