About Author

Diane Pomerantz

Diane Pomerantz
BIOGRAPHY

For more than thirty-five years, Dr. Diane Pomerantz has been a practicing psychologist, teacher, supervisor, and speaker in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. She has published articles on topics of childhood trauma and personality development. Lost in the Reflecting Pool is her first book and she is currently working on her next. She has two grown children and lives in Maryland with Rug, her shaggy dog.

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Lost in the Reflecting Pool: A Memoirby Diane PomerantzPublish: Oct 10, 2017Biographies & Memoirs

Diane Pomerantz's Awards and Achievements

    Diane Pomerantz has earned excellence awards over time. Here is the glimpse of the accolades clinched by the author.

  • 2017 Human Relations Indie Book Awards: Gold in the Memoir category 2017 Human Relations Indie Book Awards: Gold in the Marriage-Relationship category 2017 Human Relations Indie Book Awards: Silver in the Reflection category 2017 Human Relations Indie Boo
    2017

    Lost in the Reflecting Pool: A Memoir

    award
  • Reader's Favorite
    2017

    Lost in the Reflecting Pool: A Memoir

    award

Diane Pomerantz interview On 08, May 2020

"Diane Pomerantz was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She has been running Healing Through Writing Groups for the past several years. Diane's memoir is a terrifying experience of the emotional abuse that defines narcissists. She is a storyteller and she loves stories, listening to, and telling them."
Where did you spend most of your childhood? Did you always want to be an author?

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. I always loved books and my grandfather’s brother was a well-known British author, Louis Golding. He was the family celebrity – so from a young age, I too, wanted to be an author like my Uncle Louis. Throughout childhood though, I always had a two-pronged set of interests - the arts – wanting to be a writer or an actress, and I did pursue both. The other track was psychology, psychiatry, medicine – “helping people.” In the end, it was the latter that was the direction I took academically and professionally. In addition to professional writing, I have continued to write for myself – mostly poetry and mostly during times of difficulty in my life. I have been a practicing psychologist for forty years. In reality though, both psychologists and writers are observers of life and of life stories – they aren’t that different … perhaps only in the perspective taken.

When and why did you choose to become an author? Who do you write for?

I don’t know that I “decided” to become an author. For many years I have used writing as a clinical tool within my psychotherapy practice where I work with individuals who have experienced all sorts of life traumas. Writing can be a very powerful tool to use to process the psychological impact of trauma. When my marriage began to flounder, I began to keep a journal which I found very helpful. I was then diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer with a poor prognosis and my writing continued, as did the deterioration of my marriage – in ways I would never have fathomed. Initially my writing was cathartic – it was a way to express and organize what I was experiencing – it was a way to make sense of it, to put it in context within the whole of my life story. With that, shift it occurred to me that once a writer puts her words out into the world, it is never again just the writer’s story. The story is forever transformed by every reader. No matter what the writer has written, the words are always seen through the lens of the reader and thus it becomes a translated story. Thus, when the story becomes an audiobook, or a movie for that matter, it takes on another level of abstraction, and the range of personal interpretation broadens further.

The writer sets out a canvas upon which the reader can project whatever emotions or issues he or she needs in order to derive personal meaning. The work no longer belongs to the author; the author bequests it to the reader, the listener or the viewer to do with it what he or she needs to do. The writing is for the author; the finished work is for the one who receives it. The author can only hope that the work does provide some meaning for those receiving what has been written.

What do you believe is so special about writing a memoir?

Memoir writing is more than presenting facts. That would be autobiography. Memoir writing necessitates self-reflection, it encompasses a psychological processing of one’s life-story. With that, it can enable personal-growth and provide a meaningful message for readers. It is this that makes memoir special. For me, as I wrote, I wanted to actually carry the reader into my emotional experience, into my story with active language. The French novelist and literature scholar, Catherine Cusset (2012) writes that autofiction differs from memoir. She states that, “A memoir tells the reader what happened. The writing is usually clear, simple, factual, and descriptive.” Autofiction, on the other hand, brings the reader inside what happened. It is the active way language is used that is different. Her words mirrored my intent when she wrote, “The author of autofiction actually doesn’t address the readers but seduces them with language.” Had I known about this genre, perhaps I would have said that Lost in the Reflecting Pool, was an attempt at “autofiction.”

As a psychologist do you have a particular area of specialization?

Although I work with all age-groups, my area of specialization has been working with young children. My doctoral research was on the personality development of abused preschool children and I have written and presented papers on this topic at numerous professional conferences. My publications and papers on personality development and childhood trauma relate to this area of my research and clinical practice.

What inspired you to write "Lost in the Reflecting Pool"? Did you expect it to become an `award-winning memoir?

It took me many years to write this memoir, and as such, it’s hard to say there was “an inspiration” to write it as a memoir. It was more a need to tell my story, to find my voice, to hear my voice that I had lost in my marriage.

When I started writing my memoir 19 years ago, the title which was most meaningful, and lasted for years, was Scheherazade’s Cancer. According to the tale of The One Thousand and OneNights, many years ago, the king of ancient Persia discovered that his wife had betrayed him. His distress and wrath was great and, he had his wife beheaded. He then vowed to marry a young virgin every day and ordered her beheaded after the wedding night! Finally, he had married and killed all the young women in the kingdom until his vizier’s daughter, Scheherazade, asked her father if she could marry the king. Her father was not pleased about this and tried to persuade her not to do it. But she had a plan. Scheherazade was beautiful, well-read and intelligent, and she was a talented storyteller, able to weave together stories with lessons for her listeners. She married the king and on their wedding night, she told him with a tale that went on late into the night, but it was so late she couldn’t finish it and thus the king put off the beheading so she could finish the story the following night. The clever Scheherazade continued to weave ever more fantastic and adventure-filled stories, each night leaving the king on tenter-hooks to discover what happened next. Her powerful storytelling thus continued every night, until the king eventually let go of his fear of women, fell in love with the beautiful Scheherazade… and in his unending love for her, allowed her to live…

Scheherazade had a voice… but it was her wiles that kept her alive… for me, the first title of my memoir, Scheherazade’s Cancer, was my statement that I Tell My Story or Die… from either cancer or at my husband’s hand.

But as I wrote, and as I processed that I was in an emotionally abusive relationship with a narcissist, I realized I had lost my voice within the relationship. Likely having come to the relationship with a weakened voice, I was much more like the mythical nymph Echo in the tale of Echo and Narcissus… I was truly Lost in the Reflecting Pool.

Through the writing of my memoir, through sharing my story, I found my voice and I was able to psychologically re-write my life-narrative.

Whether I thought book would be an award-winning memoir - That’s an interesting question. The truth is, the bigger question was whether I would ever complete it!

Can you describe the Healing Through Writing Groups you lead?

I have been running Healing Through Writing Groups for the past several years. Some are in short workshop format and others are ongoing therapy groups. Both are very exciting and are one of the most enjoyable parts of my practice. In these group members have the opportunity to use writing, in various ways, as a tool to heal the emotional and physical wounds that are an inevitable part of life, and of everyone’s personal story. Sharing our stories not only heals but can transform our lives. These are not writing groups – there is no critique of writing. I provide my expertise as a clinician and as a writer to assist in opening up one’s creativity and to assist with self-reflection. I also work to keep the process safe. Privacy and confidentiality are an important part of safety. No critiquing happens in this group. The purpose of my groups are using writing for personal growth and healing. Self-expression in the form of writing is a way to find, claim, and speak one’s voice. Writing fosters resilience which is a quality that allows those who have experienced difficulties to move ahead in spite of what they have experienced. When we write we become observers which is an important component of developing resilience. We are more able to view our lives with enough distance and detachment to allow us to gain a more nuanced perspective. We can then reframe the problems in our life and find solutions we might not have been able see previously.

Where did you meet Charles, a charming and brilliant psychiatrist for the first time?

Charles and I met on a blind date. I describe our early relationship in my book, Lost in the Reflecting Pool.

What is the best vacation you've ever taken? If you could travel anywhere, all expenses paid, where would you go?

I’ve had many wonderful vacations to many wonderful places but I think the best trip was when I graduated college in 1970 and backpacked through Europe with some friends – taking trains from country to country – living on very little money, making friends with people from around the world – it was wonderful! My dream trip now would be to take a leisurely trip around the world and experience and record the cultural differences through photography and writing.

How do you think your memoir, "Lost in the Reflecting Pool" will help to create awareness on emotional and psychological abuse?

I am very pleased that the overall response to Lost in the Reflecting Pool has been very positive. I would like to think that the message received from my book, that emotional/psychological abuse in relationships is far-more prevalent than acknowledged and that in its subtlety it is so insidiously dangerous to the mental and physical health of its victims. At the present time we are experiencing this on a national level with emotional/psychological abuse of an entire nation. In reality though, despite awards and a positive response I don’t know that my story, which is one of many, will have the impact needed to create real change. I am pleased for whatever help it provides to those who read it and find it helpful on a personal level.

What challenges did you face while writing the emotional journey of love and of life, of courage and endurance in your first memoir?

From the first draft of Lost in the Reflecting Pool I struggled with whether this story should be presented as a memoir or a work of fiction. Not only was I concerned with protecting the people

I was writing about, particularly my children, but I also worried about legal liability issues and my privacy as a professional in the community.

I’m a storyteller and I love stories, listening to and telling them. Childhood memories of stories grounded me and made the earth solid beneath my feet. 

I’m also a psychologist and through my work I’ve learned that through personal stories we touch the emotional core of others. In my professional life, I’ve seen precisely what I experienced as a child. I knew that if I wanted my story to be meaningful to others, no matter what I called it, fiction or memoir, it needed to read like a story. 

As I wrote I did decide I must take full ownership of my story and thus I made it a memoir. I put aside notions of using a pseudonym and only changed details to protect privacy. My writing style though remained the same.

What are some book ideas that you've got bouncing around in your head? When can we expect the next publication?

I am currently working on two children’s picture books, a compendium of online therapeutic activities for children and I have begun work on a psychological thriller. The compendium of therapeutic activities should be out within the next month. I hope the children’s books will be out within the next year and I am not sure about the psychological thriller.

What is the sweetest thing a fan has ever said to you?

I have gotten wonderful feedback from so many readers from around the world that it is hard to say which touched me the most. I was struck by how many women have reached out to me personally to tell me that my book was inspirational for them and resonated deeply with their own experiences, which they then went on to share. I feel honored by this expression of trust.

When did you first come across AllAuthor? How would you rate your experience so far?

I learned about AllAuthor from a writer-friend about six-months ago and thought I would give it a try. I have been extremely impressed with everything about my experiences so far – everything has been of the highest quality.

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