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Interview: Karen Glick, Author of Questions in the Silence

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Karen Glick lives outside of Philadelphia. She is a clinical psychologist whose other interests include writing, painting, and acting. When not feverishly engaged in these pursuits, she enjoys spending time with her four children, husband, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and cats.

Karen Glick has recently published her first novel, Questions in the Silence, which sounds excellent!

Readers can learn more about Ms. Glick and her work by visiting the following:

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook  Goodreads |Amazon |
Amazon Kindle | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble

Please tell us a bit about your book and what you hope readers take away from reading it.

The idea for Questions in the Silence emerged from two of my life passions (don’t ask about the others!): psychotherapy and a spiritual approach to life. The protagonist, Ari Rothman, is a young Jewish woman whose childhood is flavored by unusual dreams and visions. Some of her dreams are derived from her Jewish education, but others are more mystical and cryptic. These experiences inspire her to become a seeker of spiritual truth, not limited by her own religious upbringing. At the same time, she is driven to find her life purpose and feels she may find it in helping people through psychotherapy.

Questions in the Silence chronicles Ari’s personal growth from her childhood, when she feels like an outsider because of her precocious approach to life, to her search for a life partner and her attempts to initiate a mature relationship with her parents. At the same time, in her professional life, Ari faces mounting conflict when she tries to integrate her traditional training as a psychologist with her intuitive abilities. Her struggles come to a head when she treats her first long-term client whose problems resonate deeply with some of her own issues.

I guess I have always questioned the meaning or purpose behind my life. I feel that growing up in a fairly materialistic culture has made it necessary for me to constantly renew and acknowledge my core spiritual values. One of my key values has always been the recognition of the eternal in every person who enters my life. In my novel, I wanted to explore the life of a female character who would embody that spiritual striving while pursuing a career that I have found meaningful. Ari Rothman is both a seeker and a psychologist. At the same time, I wanted to depict how she navigates the difficulties she faces in her own relationships, in spite of her spiritual search, because I feel that is the task we all face.

Who are your favorite characters in the story?

I have three favorite characters: Ari, who embodies some of my own struggles, Dr. Samuels, the kind of supervisor I would have welcomed, and James, the client who helps his therapist grow.

Do you have a favorite line or excerpt from your book?

It’s hard to choose, but here is a key excerpt from one of Ari’s sessions with James:/p>

Ari sat in silence with him. She could do this. Silence held no fears for her. It had become an old friend. She let her mind probe James’ silence, attempting to glean some understanding of this change in him. As the silence lengthened, Ari noticed his body sank deeper into the lumpy cushion. He allowed the chair to hug his entire frame. Ari was reminded of a small child encompassed by his mother’s embrace, allowing himself to fall asleep in her lap. Exactly the type of maternal refuge that James had never experienced. She hoped that their shared silence might serve that purpose now.

If your current release were to be turned into a movie, who would you love to see play what characters and why?

Ari Rothman would be played by Elizabeth Olsen (with a curly wig). I loved her recent work in Martha Marcy May Marlene and I felt she demonstrated the ability to convey internal struggles exceptionally well.

Evan would be portrayed by Zach Gilford, an actor from Friday Night Lights. He is talented at playing the really decent boy next door who is always trying to do the right thing and feels responsible for everyone.

James would be played by another actor from that show, Michael B. Jordon. First of all, he looks like James to me with his large eyes and athletic frame. I feel his acting skills allow him to show both sensitivity and repressed anger.

Adrienne Rothman ( the mother) would be played by Diane Lane. She could easily work in an art gallery, dressed in elegant attire. But, also she does well with neurotic, tense behavior.

Josh Rothman (the dad) would be played by David Duchovny. His role in the X-files demonstrated that he can certainly play a father who lives in his ideas.

What are your favorite aspects of writing?

There are so many aspect of the process I love. First, I should tell you that my initial draft is handwritten using a pen with flowing ink… to coax the words to flow as well. Secondly, I love writing at a smooth granite table in the sunlight that streams through my dining room skylight. Most importantly, I love the feeling that I am visiting with my characters while they show me what they want to do next.

Your least favorite aspects of writing?

I detest those days when my brain is soggy and void of ideas! Usually, I still force myself to sit and write, but I know that most of the writing I produce on those days will eventually be discarded.

Who are some of your favorite authors/books?

I love to read and probably spend too much time reading. I actually get up early just to have a quiet period to read while sipping my coffee. Some of my favorite authors are: Murakami, Abraham Vergese, Sara Gruen, Audrey Niffenegger, Jeffrey Eugenides, and John Irving.

What are you reading right now?

I am on the last 100 pages of 1Q84.

If you could have a dinner party and invite five authors – dead or alive – who would they be and what would you serve them?

I would invite Abraham Vergese, Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, Robert Frost, and Thich Nhat Hanh. Since Thich is vegetarian, I would serve polenta with roasted mushrooms, eggplant, and zucchini, with a trace of sun-dried tomatoes and a dash of parmesan. For dessert, I would bake chocolate molten lava cakes with fresh whipped cream. This question is making me hungry.

What is a book that you wish you could say that you had written and why?

I wish I had written The Tale of Edgar Sawtelle by Roblewski. It’s just such a wonderful epic that explores family dynamics, dealing with disability, and the wonderful relationship that can exist between dogs and their owners. On top of all of that, I love the paranormal aspects of the story.

What is the greatest piece of advice (for writing and/or just living) that you have heard?

In both living and writing, I believe in focusing on the present moment as much as possible without judging. Following this advice keeps the creative path open and also helps me enjoy some part of each day!

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