About My Career As Novelist, FEMA Reservist and Grandmother

A lovely interview with writer Effrosyni Moschoudi for her website.

Today I’m pleased to present to you L. Donsky-Levine, another fabulous author from my writer’s group, eNovel Authors at Work.

I understand that The Bad Girl is your literary debut?

Yes. Like many other folks who’ve dreamed about writing that great novel, life required me elsewhere. So, I guess I’m what some might call a late bloomer. It’s taken me a lifetime to get here, but thrilled that I finally made it.

Well, we are too. And, I see, based upon the reviews, that the subject matter is pretty intense. Can I ask what was your inspiration for it?

I can’t say that this exploration into humanity’s darker side where all those social issues we don’t like to talk about roam free, evolved out of any sort of inspiration. As a victim of sexual molestation, as a little girl, as a woman grappling with the shame, the stigma, and the anger I felt toward people and their reality blinders, I knew one day I would write about it, I just didn’t know when. And the strange thing was, I was in the middle of writing a completely different book when the idea of it came back with such full force, and I knew this had to come before all else.

So now that you’ve accomplished that, what’s new, project-wise, on the horizon for L. Donsky-Levine?

I’m actually working on two projects. The first is the book I’d started before THE BAD GIRL. It’s a tale of somewhat more epical proportion that fuses together all those magical things I personally look for when I want to get lost in between the pages of a truly wonderful book: time travel, history, adventure, sex and romance. Oh yeah, gotta have the love factor in there because whatever the problem, whatever the question, the answer will always be the same. Love. Without that . . . what else is there?

So true.

And the second project I’m working on is actually a book club tour. Or should I say “a personal challenge” which I’ve titled: The Bad Girl Book Club Tour. Reading Across America. Fifty States. Fifty Weeks. I’m hoping, as the title indicates, to travel to every state within a year’s time. Now aside from a smattering of states here and there, the majority of my trip will obviously be done, virtually. Which is cool because I belonged to a virtual book club where we all met online and it was such incredible fun. So if there’s anyone out there who belongs to a club in the US or has a friend or relative that they know belongs to one, and they don’t mind doing a little arm-twisting, well then . . . I’d love to hear from you!

Sounds like you definitely have your hands full. But happily. Which leads me to wonder with all that you’re doing, is there anything in particular you like to do to get the creative juice flowing?

There are two definites that never fail me when I sometimes find myself staring at a blank screen. Reading a great book and baking something super delicious. The book (especially if it’s a good one) gets those mental electrodes pumping while the fussing about the kitchen relaxes me. I’ve been baking for a long time. My mother was/is a super baker, so naturally like most little girls we want to emulate our mothers. I was probably around five when I made my first batch of cookies. Chocolate chip. Nothing ever tasted so good as those cookies, warm and gooey right out of the oven with a tall glass of cold milk. Oh yes, yum!

Now that you’ve got my mouth watering, Lauren, I understand you have quite a diverse background. So if you could choose another profession, what would it be?

It’s true. Over the years, I’ve worn a plethora of professional hats. I’ve been a chef, an insurance agent, an executive assistant, a clothing designer, a restaurant general manager, a sales rep, a concierge, a freelance writer, a nanny, a driver, and probably a whole heck of a lot more things I just can’t remember at the moment. But the one profession that I never did achieve and dreamed about from the time I was a little girl, was being an archaeologist. But since I was not the best of students and I’d discovered archaeologists earned very little, I chucked that idea real quick. However, the dream never left me. And so now, even though I’ll never be able to put on my Indiana Jones hat (not in public anyway), I have the next best thing that will make all that possible for me: a pen.

I understand that in addition to now writing full-time, you’re also a hands-on grandmother; you paint and you’re a FEMA Reservist, too. That sounds like a lot.

Yes, now that you say it that way, it does. But it somehow works. And given the fact I’m the world’s greatest juggler, doesn’t hurt any. I love spending time with my granddaughter; she’s the love of my life. Painting, for me, is like breathing. And as far as my work with FEMA, I can think of no other honor than being of service to my country men and women when they need a helping hand the most.

What would you say you enjoy the most as an indie author that you imagine you wouldn’t if you were traditionally published? And if you had a choice would you still go indie?

As many of us know all too well, being an indie author requires a lot of hard, hard work. That and a never-ending capacity to wear so many different hats when all we really want to do is just write and leave all that other business to someone else. We’re writers and that’s our first priority. But ultimately we’re in the catbird seat. We get to control our own destiny, and I love that. And somehow, I can’t help but imagine going traditional would change things. Would bite into my freedom to work at my own pace, to write perhaps what I want, how I want, when I want. And if you’re asking me, knowing that, given a choice, would I still go indie? Well, I don’t know. Perhaps if the contract offered a whole heap of zeros in there . . . I just might!

Speaking of authors. Do you have any favorites you’d like to share? And if so, what do you love about them?

Oh gee, there are so many that I love and admire. But if I had to narrow down the field I’d have to say: Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon and Tess Gerritsen. Anne Rice was/is an original. She brought us tales of sophisticated and sexy vampires long before anyone else. And talk about a powerful sex scene, wow, this lady has that down pat.

Same for Diana Gabaldon. I love the way she drew me into the Outlander series. Slam, bam, thank you ma’am! Everything about each book, is unique. And so well written that when I wasn’t reading about the characters, I was thinking about them.

Tess Gerritsen though is in a different arena. The mystery/thriller genre that requires a deft hand and sharp mind to keep the plot reeling and the pages turning. She has all those qualities and more. She’s one of those writers I read everything she puts out. I love her writing. It’s clean and cracker-jack crisp. Something I continuously aspire to.

What would you consider the biggest life lesson you’ve learned the hard way?

That nothing lasts forever. Life happens in a blink. One minute we can have it all, or what seems like the happiest of situations, and then without even realizing it, it’s gone. I’ve experienced what many people experience. The loss of a great job, the loss of a marriage, the loss of someone dear. And for me that was my sister. I can’t say that my every waking thought has been filled with regret: things I wished I’d said to her, things I wished I’d done differently. But they’re there. Like a needling reminder to call my children and tell them I love them, or to hug my parents . . . while I still can.

I appreciate you sharing that with us, Lauren. And if I might ask you one last question … how would you like to be remembered?

Oh, that’s easy! I want to be remembered as that sassy New York girl who loved black and white cookies, and finally made good. And for those folks out there who don’t know what black and white cookies are . . . like the state tree or state flower, it’s New York’s state cookie.




Delightful Author Effrosyni Moschoudi is all about her homeland, Greece. One of my favorite places in the world. To learn about her novels, click on the cover below.


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