A few days ago I had the honor of being nominated by the wonderful blogger, Andrea C. Flory, for a blog hop (See http://acflory.wordpress.com/2012/10/15/work-in-progress-blog-hop/). Not knowing what a blog hop is, I was terrified by the idea. I saw myself hopping as a digital avatar inside several computers and in cyber-space, wherever it is located. I am not in shape to do so, and besides, if I had to wear the kind of clothes worn by animated superheroes, well, it just won’t do for a woman of a certain age… so pretending to calm and dignity, I explained that to Andrea, who reassured me that I would not have to dress for the occasion, and had enlightened me by giving me the rules. Basically, I had to answer interview questions about my current Work in Progress, which in my case is this book/blog! And then, I would have nominate five other bloggers whose work I like. I can do that, I thought, secretly sighing with relief. So here are the official rules, the questions, and the nominations.
***Answer the ten
questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress) on your blog.
***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.
What is the working title of your book?
The title is The Golden Rule. It is the biography of the great Jewish philosopher, jurist, scholar, and leader, Hillel the Elder.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I had the idea on my mind for years, but I was intimidated by the attitude of most scholars and biographers who generally feel that there is not enough material about Hillel and that his life is too encrusted with legend. Eventually I realized that there is a good way to do it by using the historical material by the ancient historian, Josephus, as a starting point, and of course the primary material from the Talmud. They can create the tapestry of Hillel’s life and times.
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I can only do so if I may choose actors from the past, who are no longer with us. I am not too familiar with the new generation of actors because I rarely watch movies. I have an idea of what Hillel looked like, basing the assumptions on his ancestor, King David, who is one of the very few personalities whose appearance was described in the Bible. As a matter of fact you can see it in the blog in one of the past postings, where I explained that I would have chosen Paul Newman to play Hillel. For his wife I would have liked a very beautiful, dark-haired, small and delicate type of woman. I think Hedy Lamarr would have been perfect, or Elizabeth Taylor.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
The fascinating life of a peace-loving, brilliant man, told against the turbulent, violent and exciting times in which he lived.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I don’t know. Usually I prefer having a publisher, but the world of publishing is changing around us as we speak. This book will take a long time to write, so who knows what shape the industry is going to be in?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I am writing the first draft on line, as this blog. I am far from the ending, it is an evolving project.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I think the best match is Pontius Pilate by Ann Wroe, but possibly any of the biographies written by André Maurois. We use the same system.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
First, the fact that two thousand years after Hillel’s death, he is still constantly quoted by modern
writers and thinkers, even on PBS! Second, the challenge presented by Encyclopedia Britannica – it said that Hillel’s biography cannot be written. I disagreed and decided to set out and do it.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
The cast of “celebrity”historical characters and the wild stage on which they appear. Hillel lived and worked at the time of Cleopatra, Mark Antony, and Herod the Great, among others. And the events are truly exciting. For example, the murder of the beautiful Hasmonean princess Marriamne by her husband, King Herod, who went mad after her execution and started wandering his palace at night, looking for her ghost, is worthy of Edgar Allan Poe. I think people will also find it interesting that many scholars think Hillel was Jesus Christ’s teacher for a few years.
My 5 nominations are:
Collette Scott: http://www.collettescott.com/blog.html
Deb Hockenberry http://debsbookreviews.blogspot.com/
Earl B. Russell http://earlbrussell.wordpress.com/
Rosie Cochran http://rosierambleson.wordpress.com/
Janet Beasley http://www.jlbcreatives.blogspot.com/