Thursday, February 12, 2015

My visit at Dianne Harman's fabulous site @DianneDHarman

Dianne Harman​ draws her stories and characters from a diverse business and personal background. She owned a national antique and art appraisal business for many years, left that industry, and opened two yoga centers where she taught yoga and certified yoga instructors. I am thrilled that she invited me for an interview. 

Tell us about Anita, the girl in the midst of a firestorm of passion in your book, Apart From Love

At first I decided to model her as the-opposite-of-me. her use of language would be atrocious. She talks in sentences laden with 'like' and the dreaded double-negatives. Anita would become a bold and spontaneous spirit, anything but repressed. She would be promiscuous. Her voice would be shockingly direct. 

"In my defense I have this to say: When men notice me, when the lusty glint appears in their eyes, which betrays how, in their heads, they’re stripping me naked—it’s me they accuse of being indecent. 
Problem is, men notice me all the time.
How can a girl like me ever claim to be innocent? Even if I haven’t done nothing wrong, I’m already soiled, simply because of their dirty thoughts." 

I do not even know how it happened, but once Anita started talking in my mindwhich she did for nearly a yearI started to like her more and more. I asked myself, how would she play against Ben, who is a complex character, hesitant, highly sophisticated? How would she play against Lenny, a would-be author who is so proud of his refined expressions, when her background is so different from his? How would she measure up against his ex-wife, Natasha, the renowned pianist suffering from early-onset Alzheimer's? 

This last question is particularly interesting, because Natasha’s character is not an easy one to develop. The primary problem is that she has no voice. She is utterly silent, which makes her son hopeat firstthat she can be reached, that he can 'save' her. 

Please give us an excerpt:

"The minute our eyes met, I knew what to do: so I stopped in the middle of what I was doing, which was dusting off the glass shield over the ice cream buckets, and stacking up waffle cones here and sugar cones there. From the counter I grabbed a bunch of paper tissues, and bent all the way down, like, to pick something from the floor. Then with a swift, discrete shove, I stuffed the tissues into one side of my bra, then the other, ‘cause I truly believe in having them two scoops—if you know what I mean—roundly and firmly in place. 
Having a small chest is no good: men seem to like girls with boobs that bulge out. It seems to make an awful lot of difference, especially at first sight, which you can always tell by them customers, drooling. 
I straightened up real fast, and it didn’t take no time for him to come in. I was still serving another customer, some obnoxious woman with, like, three chins. She couldn’t make up her mind if she wanted hot fudge on top or just candy sprinkles, and what kind, what flavor would you say goes well with pistachio nut, and how about them slivered almonds, because they do seem to be such a healthy choice, now really, don’t they. 
He came in and stood in line, real patient, right behind her. So now I noted his eyes, which was brown, and his high forehead and the crease, the faint crease right there, in the middle of it, which reminded me all of a sudden of my pa, who left us for good when I was only five, and I never saw him again—but still, from time to time, I think about him and I miss him so.
I could feel Lenny—whose name I didn’t know yet—like, staring at me. It made me hot all over. For a minute there, I could swear he was gonna to ask me how old I was—but he didn’t." 

Can we listen to this segment?

Yes! So glad you asked! here is my narrator for Anita: Heather Jane Hogan, who  brings the words to life, and she does it in a natural way, without overstating the Southern twang: 

If your browser wouldn't play it, try this.

The interview is also on her blog, here: The Amazing and oh so talented Uvi Poznansky

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