Author Interview: Anat Eliraz

Biography

Anat Eliraz was born in Israel, but spent a few years of her childhood in Singapore, where her love for fantasy started. She describes her life as being quite normal, even though she has driven a tank and jumped out of an airplane!

Between being a mother to four, working as a physiotherapist in a neonatal intensive care unit and training in Martial Arts, she still finds time to write.

Anat loves to use double meanings and word games in her writing, allowing her readers to play along or double check themselves, as the story unfolds.

Tell us about your book, Jewels of Smoky Quartz.

‘Jewels of Smoky Quartz’ is a portal fantasy about a nurse who also practices martial arts and one day finds herself in another world. She needs to use her wit and skills to survive and find her way.

When and why did you start writing?

I started writing in primary (elementary) school. Mostly songs, poems and lots of unfinished stories. I wrote because it was a sort of way to deal with things I was going through in life. I used the fantasy setting, because I had the influence from D&D games I played at the time.

Why did you decide to write and publish a novel?

I wrote my whole novel about a year before I decided to publish it. I wrote it because I got an idea and it just kept expanding in my head that I felt an urge to put it down on paper. I would wake up in the middle of the night and just had to write what I thought about.

The idea to actually publish it came in the first lockdown, when I listened to podcasts about writing and publishing and started thinking ‘why not?!’

What have you written since you published Jewels of Smoky Quartz? Do you plan to publish any more books?

I am currently writing the sequel to my published book and another fantasy story that takes place on earth during WW2. I hope to publish them too!

You are a mother of four, train in martial arts, and have a full-time job. How do you find time to write?

As I wrote before – a large part of my book was written at night. I would wake up and not be able to fall asleep again unless I wrote what was on my mind. I also write on lunch breaks or on rare occasions that I have a cancellation. My kids are quite big and my husband is frequently abroad from work, so instead of ‘couch potating’ in front of the T. V., I write!

How did holding a copy of your published novel for the first time compare to jumping out of an airplane or driving a tank?

It was amazing! I was so excited and thrilled! Jumping from a plane was fun, but this was coming just after holding my children for the first time. In a way- it’s holding my creation,
which I put a lot of love into.

What is something you learned writing your first book that you do differently now?

Now I have readers feedback and it really boosts me onwards. I learned a lot about the editing process which I intend to do differently now. I was extremely “green” back then, and leaned heavily on what I was told, which later I learned was not quite true…

What is your favorite aspect of writing?

The ability to create! Create a world, create characters and make them ‘real’! I love the space it allows me to take real debates and let my characters deal with them, whether they make mistakes or choose the best solution.

What is your strangest writing quirk?

I usually write with pen(cil) and paper before I put my work on the computer. I have over 150 pages of my published book written by hand and currently over 50 pages of my WIP. It’s easier for me to write in a notebook when I am not at home, so it’s always in my backpack.

What does success look like for you as an author?

Success as an author is having people enjoy my writing and making contact to talk or ask about it/ writing in general. If people read my book and then say- wow! This is a book I really enjoyed/ that really surprised/ inspired me… Then I am in a state of pure bliss! Of course I want my book to become a best seller, but the personal contact and reviews seem so much more important, in my opinion.

Anything additional you want to share with readers?

‘Jewels of Smoky Quartz’ has twists and turns and lets the reader take somewhat of an active part in the reading. They might smile when they realize they found the clues strewn throughout the story, or turn back pages to see how come they missed something.

I have also written a song in the book and a friend took the words and brought them to life! It was not done in a professional studio, it was done at home with minimal essentials and lots of love!

You can find it on YouTube by writing the name of the book. Hope you enjoy!

Website: Best place to find me is on Facebook

Book Locations: My book is available on Amazon as a paperback, an ebook, and is free on
Kindle unlimited.

Excerpt

She was put down on a stone floor, her ankles were released and then her hands, but by the time she pulled the sack off her head, she only saw a door close and heard the lock. She was in darkness. There was only a thin line of light coming from under the door. She waited for
her eyes to adjust.

Coming to her feet, she moved to stand by the door. The door was at one corner of a small cell. She could make out the lines of wall meeting wall and ceiling. It was ten feet by five, the door being at the side of the five-foot wall. She touched the walls and walked slowly around. After
a few small steps, her feet touched straw on the floor. It covered the floor at the inner part of the cell. She continued to move when her hand came upon an iron ring in the wall. She pulled at it, but it held fast. It was about waist high and she found another ring a foot or so
from it.

Coming back towards the door, she could make out something dark in the other corner. She touched it quickly with her foot and retreated.

It was a wooden bucket.

Five-star hotel, she thought. Can’t wait for dinner…

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