Dr. Jeri Fink is an author, Family Therapist, and journalist, with over 19 books and hundreds of articles to her name. She writes adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction, and has appeared on television, radio, book events, seminars, workshops, and the internet. Dr. Fink’s work has been praised by community leaders, educators, reviewers, and critics around the country.
Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Jeri. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I was eight years old, It was long past bedtime and the room was completely dark. I balanced a flashlight over my notebook, because I was supposed to be asleep. The pages were filled with my stories - people I knew and didn't know, tales I made up in my head, and characters that wandered freely in my imagination. Suddenly, I paused. The words came unbidden.
I was put on this planet to write.
I've done many things since that moment. But one thing has never changed. I'm here to write.
Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
Trees Cry For Rain began with a story. I read about a group of people in New Mexico who followed odd customs in their Catholic community - such as lighting candles on Friday night and refusing to eat pork. Local historians discovered that they were the descendants of Secret Jews who had fled the Spanish Inquisition. They were all practicing Christians, but unknowingly remained connected to their past. I wondered what it must have been like to live with these secrets? How do powerful memories survive time, hidden for five hundred years? Something inside me stirred, as if it was a part of my history, too. The questions had to be answered.
Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?
It took four years to write and research my book. I assembled a large library on the subject; and traveled in the United States Spain, Portugal and Israel. I met many people and discovered that five hundred years meant little in human consciousness. My biggest challenge was language - I don't speak Spanish, Portuguese or Hebrew. Consequently, I had to rely on translations and sources written in English. That was very frustrating!
Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV? What are your upcoming plans for doing so?
I haven't spoken to groups about Trees Cry For Rain. However, it's my 19th book, and I have appeared many times in public venues, including radio, TV, conferences, workshops, seminars, and book events. When my virtual book tour is complete, I will appear live in various places, including New York City, Long Island and Southern Florida.
Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?
I have had many agents over the years - and none of them ever sold a book for me! For example, Trees Cry For Rain was sold to my publisher (Dailey Swan) after I met him at BEA (Book Expo America) in New York. My first Trees book signing took place, pre-publication, at BEA!
Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?
The world of books and readers has changed dramatically. Our "media blitz" begins with my virtual book tour and continues with both online and live appearances. That's a job in itself!
Q: Do you plan subsequent books?
I finished my next novel, a psychological thriller, during the two years it took for Trees Cry For Rain to be published. I'm now working on the next book - another historical novel. I never stop writing.
Q: Thank you for your interview, Jeri. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?
Trees Cry For Rain can be purchased at most online bookstores, including amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and booksamillion.com It's also available through independent bookstores online or at brick-and-mortar stores (you may have to order it, depending on the store).
I'm all over the web! Please visit me - I love to talk to readers and hear their comments. You can find me on my website, Face book, Author's den, YouTube, etc. Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The URLs are below.
I have a special page where readers take photographs of themselves, family, friends, or scenes with my book, and send them to be posted on my website. Check it out at: http://photos.drjerifink.com/
It's a lot of fun! We have shots from the Galapagos Islands to California and New York! Please join me there. Send your photos to email@example.com I would love to see you.