Guest Author Interview with Yael Eylat-Tanaka

We have the pleasure of presenting a guest author interview with Yael Eylat-Tanaka. THANK YOU Yael for allowing us to share your responses to our interview questions! 1. What inspired you to write this book? Answer: I realized I had been abused by a narcissistic mother my entire life, yet could never extricate myself from the relationship, like so many domestic abuse situations. As smart as I am, I was never able to put a name on what was going on. Only after my mother’s death did I realize, through extensive reading, what was going on. If I was in the dark, I imagined others were as well. I wrote “The Chameleon Chronicles” both as therapy and as a guide to others. 2. Can you tell me about the book? Answer: The book starts out as a series of therapy sessions, with “the patient” analyzing and thinking about what she has learned. Interspersed are incidents throughout “the patient’s” life of examples of abuse and the suffering she went through. 3. What is your writing process like? Answer: I referred to emails and letters from my mother, as well as my own memory of my life with her. I also referred to independent articles and videos of psychologists explaining the various aspects of the disorder and how it manifests itself. 4. What did you learn when writing the book? Answer: I learned a most important and painful lesson: that I had a role in my own misery, simply by staying in it. 5. What surprised you the most? Answer: I wrote the book under a pseudonym because I was afraid my family would read and recognize the characters. As I got close to the end, it occurred to me that it was a silly maneuver, but I was too far along to change the names. 6. What does the title mean? Answer: “The Chameleon Chronicles” refers to the changeability of the personalities involved, and how confusing it can be to those around. 7. Was the character inspired by a real person? If so, who? Answer: The main character, Amanda, represents the author (me), and the other characters are family members or doctors. 8. What do you think happened to the characters after the book ended? Answer: None suffered as much as the main character, because no one was as psychologically “addicted” to the abuser. 9. What advice do you have for writers? Answer: To write about what they know and feel. 10. Does writing energize or exhaust you? Answer: It usually exhausts me because I’m so precise. I want my grammar and spelling to be perfect, and I want the topics/paragraphs to flow, and sometimes errant thoughts meander through the main topic. I write that down, then get confused about the best place to put it. 11. What are common traps for aspiring writers? Answer: Too many sources of advice. Too many scammers and offers. 12. What is your writing Kryptonite? Answer: Noise or music. I cannot concentrate around TV or with music in the background. 13. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym? Answer: Yes, see above. This book is written under a pseudonym, as are others. 14. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want? Answer: I want to be original. I have no idea what “readers” want. There are too many variables. Those who will read what I write are my readers; I will not even pretend to attract the others (e.g., scifi lovers). 15. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book? Answer: I have written on too many topics to make connections between each book, except for series, such as my finance books. 16. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have? Answer: About four at the moment. 17. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? Answer: I research while I write. I gather a great deal of research, then pick and choose how I refer to it. With non-fiction books, I usually add them to my list of References. 18. How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one? Answer: I’m still a part-time writer. The other “part” of my life is spent living. I’m also an audiobook narrator. I do not depend on my writing for my income. 19. How many hours a day do you write? Answer: Sometimes none. Sometimes all day. 20. What period of your life do you find you write about most often? (child, teenager, young adult) Answer: Entire life. 21. How do you select the names of your characters? Answer: First thing that comes to my mind. 22. If you didn’t write, what would you do for work? Answer: Edit. But it’s moot, as I’m retired. 23. What was your hardest scene to write? Answer: Reminiscing some of the painful interactions with my mother brought me to sobs. 24. What is your favorite childhood book? Answer: Not a book, but a movie, ”Bambi.” 25. How long on average does it take you to write a book? Answer: I can put out a book in two months; but my current book has been in the works for a year (“The Genocide Diet.”) 26. Do you believe in writer’s block? Answer: Oh, yes! 27. What works best for you: Typewriters, fountain pen, dictate, computer or longhand? Answer: The computer. I love being able to go back and forth between research, email, and my book. These maneuvers are little siestas for the brain. 28. When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer? Answer: When I was a child. 29. How hard was it to sit down and actually start writing something? Answer: Not hard at all. What was difficult was pushing the “publish” button! 30. Do you aim to complete a set number of pages or words each day? Answer: Not at all. 31. Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you? Answer: I stay away from novels. I have tried my hand at novels, and don’t believe I have a knack for them. 32. Do you read much and, if so, who are your favorite authors? Answer: Yes, I read all the time. In my later years, I prefer novels, and absolutely love Robert Ludlum. 33. What is the most important thing about a book in your opinion? Answer: For novels to flow and be perfectly edited. For non-fiction books, the formatting is critical, as well as the editing, and the “meat” of the content. 34. How would you feel if no one showed up at your book signing? Answer: I’d be disappointed. 35. How much of yourself do you put into your books? Answer: Depends what I write. I put my heart and soul, tears and rage into “The Chameleon Chronicles.” 36. Who is the most supportive of your writing in your family? Answer: My husband. 37. Another misconception is that all writers are independently wealthy, how true is that? Answer: A misconception? I never heard of that one! I’m certainly not! 38. Is it true that authors write word-perfect first drafts? Answer: I certainly try to. I can’t imagine writing 100,000 words worth of crap, in crappy fashion, with absolutely no editing, then going back over it and fixing it! I’d simply abandon the project if I had to do that! 39. What is your view on co-authoring books; have you done any? Answer: Have not done it, but would be willing to, provided the co-author was as punctilious as I was. 40. Is writing book series more challenging? Answer: Depends on the topic. My “LifeMONEY” series was very specific, therefore, the series flowed. 41. Does it get frustrating if you are unable to recall an idea you had in your mind some time earlier? Answer: Yes! That’s why my home is full of notes everywhere. I hasten to include them into the text as soon as I sit at my computer to eliminate the mess I spoke of above. 42. Have you ever destroyed any of your drafts? Answer: Many times. 43. Can you tell us about your current projects? Answer: “The Genocide Diet” is a non-fiction book exposing the role of our government through its various institutions in promoting the state of un-health and rampant obesity and diabetes in our country. 44. Were your parents reading enthusiasts who gave you a push to be a reader as a kid? Answer: Yes, both parents. My mother especially. 45. Have you ever turned a dream or a nightmare into a written piece? Answer: I wrote a book entitled “Dreams” in which I included all my dreams and nightmares, with images. Links: - - - -

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