This blog was featured on 09/06/2018
A Q&A with Meri Henriques Vahl
Written by
She Writes
September 2018
Written by
She Writes
September 2018

Meri Henriques Vahl is the author of Hoosier Hysteria: A Fateful Year in the Crosshairs of Race in America. She has shared some insights with She Writes about her writing routine, her publishing experience and advice for aspiring writers.

SW: Share your writing routine.

MHV: Every morning for the past several years, I work on writing my son’s screenplay until about noon, and then, in the afternoon, if I’m still inspired to keep on writing, I work on my own sci-fi stories, which are always written in the first person.

SW: Describe your writing style in three words.

MHV: personal, direct, engaging

SW: What is the first thing you can remember writing?

MHV: When I was four years old, my father gave me a book with blank, lined pages and a shiny red cover.  Since I was by then an avid reader, I filled up the book with my own story, ‘Zuzu the Bear’, complete with illustrations.  I wish I still had it!

SW: When did you start to feel like a writer?

MHV: I felt like a writer as soon as I was able to pick up a pencil, and realized that I could use it to tell a story.

SW: Was there something about the publishing experience that surprised you?

MHV: I was surprised by how much teamwork was involved, and how hard my team worked to help me get my story published.

SW: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

MHV: Persist!  If you believe in the story you have to tell, don’t give up until you get it out there!

SW: What do you do to help develop your craft?

MHV: I read, and have always read, lots of books, always paying close attention to the way the words flow, and the subtle and not-so-subtle ways the author tells his or her story.

SW: What methods are you using to market your book?

MHV: Since I’m aware that, with all of my artwork – stories, art quilts, etc. – I am far better at ‘creating’ than I am at marketing, I hired Book Sparks to use their expertise to get ‘Hoosier Hysteria’ the best public exposure.

About Meri Henriques Vahl

After leaving Indiana University, Meri Henriques Vahl arrived at the University of California, Berkeley just in time to witness the Free Speech Movement. Since earning her bachelor’s degree in fine arts at Berkeley, she has worked as a graphic artist and musician and is currently an award-winning art quilter who teaches at various venues in the US and overseas. Vahl has two adult children and lives in central California with her family and two rowdy felines.

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