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Posted By Susan Bernhardt

“Books are the mirrors of the soul.” ~ Virginia Woolf

Many authors insist they are not their characters or the characters are not them. Not so for me.

Writing for me is quite like fantasizing. I imagine myself as the protagonist in my novels. I identify with my main character or is it the other way around? I was Kay Driscoll in the Kay Driscoll Mystery series, i.e. The Ginseng Conspiracy, Murder Under the Tree, and Murder by Fireworks. Like an actor who "becomes" that person and lives the part while filming, I am the protagonist in my WIP. When writing, I live the part.

I'm currently writing a Manhattan murder mystery. The protagonist, Irina, is a retired ballet dancer who teaches young children to dance at her studio. She lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I immensely enjoy writing this mystery because I describe the brownstone I would want to live in. I "go to" the restaurants and coffee shops I love. My NYC friends are relatively quirky. It's great fun to view the world through Irina's eyes.

Of course in order to do this, a lot of research is involved because the setting is NYC and the protagonist's profession is ballet. Here I chose two topics I'm interested in, which adds to the pleasure of my art. I get to experience NYC, visit art museums, enjoy the culture. This vicarious experience is similar to readers' reports of actually gaining weight just from the pastry descriptions in The Ginseng Conspiracy .

A lot of love is being poured into this book, even though it is a murder I'm currently in the revision stage. Hopefully A Manhattan Murder Mystery will be completed and out in 2016.

“Every book has a soul, the soul of the person who wrote it and the soul of those who read it and dream about it.” ~ Carlos Ruiz Zafón




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Susan Bernhardt


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