Sondra Helene is a board member and writer at GrubStreet, Boston’s center for literary arts. Past president of Friends of Beth Israel Deaconess medical center, she is a member of Hadassah and Combined Jewish Philanthropies. Her debut novel, Appearances was published in April, 2019.
Appearances was listed in PopSugar.com in a roundup of 10 books by Debut Authors to Watch in 2019.
Appearances was listed in parade.com as one of 10 books to read when family drama is consuming your life. https://parade.com/854153/ashley_johnson/10-books-to-read-when-family-drama-is-consuming-your-life/
She Reads listed Appearances as a novel to read if you like the show, “This is Us.”
Appearances: A Novelby Sondra HelenePublish: Apr 09, 2019Women's Fiction
I graduated from Marblehead High School, Ithaca College and I received my master's from Columbia University. I liked High School a little better because of the school spirit. I used to attend all the football and basketball games and a lot of people in the town would go as well.Did you always want to pursue writing as a career or did you decide on this path only later in life?
I decided to be a writer about 15 years ago. When I was younger I kept a journal and in high school would write some short stories and give them to my friends to read.
My English teacher told me I was a great writer! But I had a career as a Speech Pathologist first.What time of the day are you most productive when it comes to writing?
I'm most productive in the mornings! I wake up, have my coffee, work out, and write.What is one thing that never fails to inspire you?
I find I write best when I'm struggling with an issue or upset about something.What is the most important thing to remember while writing a woman fiction?
The most important thing to remember when writing women's fiction is to write characters that are multi-dimensional and characters that other women can see themselves in.When you first started writing, what are some tools you used that really helped you write without much difficulty?
When I first started writing, I signed up for writing classes at GrubStreet in Boston, the premier writing organization in the country. They have ALL level courses. I took classes in memoir, fiction, novel writing, jumpstart your writing. I think various prompts they gave us helped propel my writing.Since how long have you been a board member and writer at GrubStreet, Boston’s center for literary arts?
I've been a board member for 5 years. I've taken classes for 15 years."Appearances" is a story of love, loss, forgiveness, learning to live with grief, and healing. How did you come up with the idea for the book?
APPEARANCES was inspired by a true story. My sister was diagnosed with cancer when she was only 43 and after she died, writing helped me deal with my grief. It saved me. I decided to make the book fiction because I wanted to add family dynamics and dramatize the situation with in-laws who didn't like each other and how illness and conflict affect an entire family.How do you aspire to portray your women characters in your books?
I aspire to portray my women as likable, strong characters.How has been your experience of being a member of Hadassah and Combined Jewish Philanthropies?
I enjoy going to CJP and Hadassah meetings and donate to their organizations. They have the Hadassah hospital in Israel and CJP helps many Jewish people in need.Do you prefer it when all the books in a series can be read as a standalone? Or do you like to tie a connective thread through all the books?
I like when all the books in a series can be read alone.Do you see parts of yourself in the character of Samantha?
Samatha is like me in regard to we both were very close to our sisters and we both lost sisters to cancer in their 40's.In what ways do you think Appearances will resonate with anyone who has ever experienced tension in their familial relationships?
Appearances will resonate with people who have experienced tension in their familial relationships because it shows that other people have family drama as well.
Hopefully people may say...Wow, I didn't realize it affected my spouse like that or maybe there's another way to look at the person you feel wronged by. Maybe something is not healed in that person. Every person is fighting their own demons.Got any parting to advise for aspiring writers reading this?
My advise to aspiring writers is to persevere. Don't give up even after many rejections from agents. Keep going!How were you introduced to AllAuthor? Has this website met all your expectations?
I found All Author from other women who were published by my publisher She Writes Press.
** Make sure that you have read the book at least once.**
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