By Interviews With Writers

Author Bio:
Born in New York, raised in Toronto, J. Arlene Culiner set out to have a life of adventure and discovery, not one of security and comfort. She has since crossed much of Europe on foot, traveled, by bus, train, car, or truck throughout North and Central America, Europe, and the Sahara, has lived in a Hungarian mud house, a Bavarian castle, a Turkish cave dwelling, on a Dutch canal, and in a haunted stone house on the lonely English moors. Such a lifestyle has meant staying flexible and taking up any sort of work that presents itself: belly dancer, fortune teller, b-girl, translator, fashion model, storyteller, radio broadcaster, actress, social critical artist, photographer, and writer. She now resides in a 400-year-old former inn in a French village of no interest, and protects all creatures, especially spiders, earthworms, and snakes. She particularly loves writing about out-of-the-way communities, strange characters, and reproducing some very odd conversations.

What inspires you to write?
I've always written. I can't imagine going through life without writing something — a journal, a short story, a book. I'm inspired by the stories people tell me, the conversations I hear, by history, by the countryside around me, by my rather strange way of traveling, and by the past.

Tell us about your writing process.
I'm a chaotic person and would never be able to start with an outline. I can't write character sketches either. I begin with a story in my head, and the events just grow as I work. After the first draft is down (I hate doing that first draft) I'm finally in my element, and I rewrite, refine, take pleasure, live the story.

For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I actually become my characters in my head. They take over. And parts of me become parts of them.

Who are your favorite authors?
I've been a passionate reader all my life, and so many writers have influenced and delighted me, it would be impossible to name them all. I suppose I could just say (to be brief) that at the moment, I adore Linda Grant, W.G. Sebald, Alan Hollinghurst, Robert D. Kaplan, Charles King. I love the way they use language and images; I love the worlds they take me to.

How did you decide how to publish your books?
I always publish through traditional publishers. I would never be very good at taking over all the responsibilities involved in self-publishing.

What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It's here to stay, thank goodness.

What genres do you write?
Romances, non-fiction, mysteries

What formats are your books in?
eBook, Print, Audiobook

Back to home page