interview by Douglas Eby
"A lot of things
creativity, but if you have the creative drive,
Novelist Faye Kellerman adds, "Creativity expresses itself. I don't think we find a way to express the energy. The energy can come out in a physical form, such as running, some sort of athletic kind of thing, or other ways."
In addition to creating her series of Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus thrillers, she loves music: "I've played instruments since I was a small girl. I'm not very good at them, but I do play guitar, piano and violin."
Writing, she recalls, was something "that came much later on, because, I think, it's a more mature form of expression."
She feels the two are "probably opposed to one another, because writing, though it's right-brain activity, takes a lot of methodical, left-brain activity, and it's a verbal form of communication; music is just the opposite."
When tired of writing, or to take a break, she does things "that don't require me to do expression with written words," she says, such as music or gardening.
She treats writing "not as a creative endeavor, but more or less like a job. A job I'm very grateful to be allowed to do. So in that regard, I'm probably not that much different than any other working woman who's trying to balance family and job."
Kellerman has a separate writing office set up in the home she shares with her psychologist and novelist husband Jonathan.
She has noticed that "writing brings the creativity; you don't get the creativity first, or rarely. I don't usually go, Oh my goodness, I have this burst of wonderful inspiration, I've got to write it down. The actual process of writing stimulates the creative output. And that's why I tend to treat it more like a job."
One of her disciplines is to get down to the computer at a certain time each morning. "Working for that two or three hours, I find the work itself energizes me," she says, "and starts all the juices flowing, which is wonderful. That's why I make a point to do it whether I feel like it or not, because I know once I start, I'll get into it."
Exercise is also an energizing part of her life: "I get up in the morning and jog about a half an hour, outside when it's very quiet and still. Sometimes I listen to the news and sometimes I don't do anything except think."
She does not engage in any kind of meditation or spiritual discipline, but notes she is "a practicing, traditional Jew, and so much of my love of the religion is in my writing. I think the religion centers our family, and makes us part of a larger community and larger heritage that is much greater than any of the individuals.
"Also, what's very nice for me is the Sabbath, where we are really pretty strict, and don't use electricity; we don't cook, or use the car. It's really a Luddite kind of day, if you're Orthodox. And we live within walking distance of our community temple, and it involves a lot of community and family participation. And that one day a week prevents me from going overboard in the work, and it's very renewing, of course."
A review of her novel "Moon Music" said it contains "elements of horror, metaphysics, and Native American culture... The novel is way too complex to outline coherently." In her review of "Stalker" Joanne Wilkinson refers to "Kellerman's seemingly boundless knowledge of the psychological mind-set of both cops and criminals... and asides on everything from religion to family dynamics."
But she does not write with any kind of mission to educate about such varied topics, Kellerman says. "The material is out of my own personal interests. But I don't want to write textbooks. I want to write very, very entertaining novels. I don't think it's a dirty word. But on the other hand, if I'm interested in something that I think is really kind of neat, and I can transfer the interest to my reader, then that's great.
"If they say, Hey, I found that very interesting; where did you pick that up? and they have the same kind of enthusiasm as I did when I discovered a certain item or fact, then that's all the better, because it makes for a better and richer read. I love writing about my culture, and I love finding out things about other cultures.
"I have a very strong interest in how other people live, and how they think. Probably it comes out of my own interest, because I feel that I'm a little bit different from the mainstream."
~ ~ ~novels:*****Moon Music*****Stalker
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