Today’s guest is Arnine Weiss, author of the chick lit, She Ain’t Heavy. Arnine Cumsky Weiss is a nationally certified sign language interpreter and a teacher of English as a second language. She has worked in the field of Deafness for over thirty years. She is the author of six books. BECOMING A BAR MITVAH: A TREASURY OF STORIES, BECOMING A BAT MITZVAH: A TREASURY OF STORIES (University of Scranton Press), THE JEWS OF SCRANTON (Arcadia Publishing), and THE UNDEFEATED (RID Press) and THE CHOICE: CONVERTS TO JUDAISM SHARE THEIR STORIES (University of Scranton Press). She is married to Dr. Jeffrey Weiss and is the mother of Matt, Allie, and Ben.
Thank you for this interview, Arnine. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I’m a sign language interpreter and I work with deaf children in middle school in the Bronx. I started writing about cool Bar Mitzvah stories after my son survived cancer and we celebrated his coming of age in a very special way. That was in 1997 and I never looked back.
Can you tell us briefly what your book is about?
When Teddy Warner, a counter clerk at Dunkin’ Donuts, is about to be evicted from her apartment, she meets an old high school friend, Rachel, who invites her to move to Philadelphia to share an apartment. Teddy is on her way to a new life, full of promise, when an unforeseen accident disables Rachel, and Teddy is forced to fend for herself in a big city with no friends, no money and no prospects.
In a heroic journey, Teddy faces obstacles, both human and man-made, and tries to make it in a world that doesn’t think she’s worth it. She Ain’t Heavy is about the bonds of friendship, second chances, and self-discovery.
Why did you choose your particular genre?
I had a story to tell about a young woman who faced many obstacles as she cashed in on a second chance. There are some very strong female characters and I didn’t know what else to call it.
What was your greatest challenge writing this book?
Finding the main character, Teddy’s voice. She’s very different from me and I wanted her to sound like herself.
Are you published by a traditional house, small press or are you self-published?
I am fortunate to be published by a lovely press called Academy Chicago Press.
Was it the right choice for you?
How are you promoting your book thus far?
Book talks, social media, word of mouth, and Dorothy Thompson at Pump Up your Books who is taking me on a virtual book tour. She’s amazing.
How is that going for you?
Great. The PR tour is really helping to get the word out.
Can you tell us one thing you have done that actually resulted in one or more sales?
Pump Up Your Book created a book trailer which is on facebook, youtube and my author page at Amazon. That is creating a lot of interest in the book.
Do you have another job besides writing?
Yes, I’m a sign language interpreter and I teach GED prep classes.
If you could give one book promotion tip to new authors, what would that be?
You can’t sit back and think the book will create a life of it’s own. Just like you breathed life into your characters, you have to create excitement for your book so that people want to read it.
What’s next for you?
I’m writing the next one. It’s about a bread delivery guy, a pumped up car and a woman on house arrest.
Thank you for this interview, Arnine. Can you tell us where we can find you on the web?
Thank you for this opportunity. Please look for me on facebook, Amazon and www.arnineweiss.com.