Interview with Mirka Breen!

Interview with Mirka Breen!

The Serious Questions

It sounds like you had an interesting childhood. What effect do you think living in a kibbutz had on you as an adult (if any)? 
My parents left the kibbutz when I was two, so I have no experience except visiting. I always envied my friends there because they grew up in the Children’s House, and not with their families. I imagined it was like a never-ending summer camp. Years later I learned they always envied us city kids for getting to live with our parents. The grass is indeed glistening at someone else’s yard.

Your bio mentions that you were once pictured in a magazine as an expert on oriental rugs. Were you really? How did you come by that expertise?  
I studied folk art with specialization in textiles as a passion, and realized the luckiest people are those who get to work with their passion. So I perused work with antique textiles and wound up working (covertly, so I’m not spilling) as a buyer at auctions for a well-known dealer who didn’t want other dealers to know he was the real bidder. I got tired of the spook-stuff soon enough and looked for an honest job. I wound up getting a position in a good collectable antique textile gallery. We put on special exhibits. HALI magazine, the International Magazine for textiles, sent representatives to review our second exhibit of weavings from the Shahsavan people of N.W. Iran. That day I was holding fort at the gallery while the owner was on a buying trip, so I got to be the face of the show. You’d think I owned the place!

You’re a huge fan of THE LITTLE PRINCE. Where/how did you discover the book? 
It was a gift from my father, in Hebrew translation, when I was seven. I’ve since read it (with difficulty, but love conquers all) in the original French, and have the English edition and the new American edition as well.

Tell us about your current work in progress. 
Considering my above mention of spooks, no wonder I’m working on a spy novel for upper middle grades. But seriously, it has not a thing to do with textiles. I should find a way to incorporate oriental rugs into my stories, don’t you think?

What do you do to cure writer’s block? 
I refuse to have them, and I must be scary enough that they don’t dare enter my mind.

Are you a plotter or a pantster? 
A plotter through and through. But some of the most enjoyable writing moments do come as surprised even for me. The final stories are plot-charted with surprises sprouting along.

Do you have any writing rituals? 
Turn the phone ringer off and have the phone display turned around so I’m not even aware someone is leaving a message. When the passage I’m working on is intensely demanding, I actually tie my hair back. It’s a sort of “gathering” of my otherwise unfocused hair. Just thinking about it now made me do it.

What one piece of advice would you give to an aspiring author? 
Write. The joy must come from the doing, not the thinking about and hoping to and wishing for. It’s about doing it.

If you could rewrite the ending to any book, what would it be and why? 
The final chapter of the final book in the Harry Potter series was too pat for my taste. But then, I couldn’t have done the amazing plotting job J.K. Rowling did up until that point, so it seems like a needless quibble.

What is the best piece of writing advice you NEVER followed? 
To spend more time reading great books than writing. I think it’s sound advice, but once I started writing I’ve spent less time reading that writing. Maybe I should re-think this.

Tell us about THE VOICE OF THUNDER! 
It’s a coming-of-age story of two girls and their friendship. The background it a real war I had lived through growing up, the 1967 war between Israel and three Arab countries. Read more about it here-

And if after this if you want to know more about my rambling mind, visit my blog. I love visitors and comments.

The Random Questions

Chocolate or vanilla? 
Vanilla all the way

Dinos or dragons? 
When I figure out what these are, I’ll let you know

What psychic power would you want? 
Healing would be nice

Favorite Disney character? 
He’s not really originally a Disney character, but EEYORE is my guy

Dream vacation? 
A great hotel in a great city with theatre tickets for a week

What is the last line you read? (book, cereal box, magazine, whatever) 
Sadly it was my bank statement

Favorite Book Ever: 
I’m going to say the Bible, because it is many books and great ones. It’s sort of cheating, but ONE favorite doesn’t work for me.

Favorite Movie Ever: 
Definitely not any movies made from The Bible… None of those work for me. I’ll have to pass.

Music Earworm of the Moment: 
Is it all right to say Bach’s Goldberg Variations? Timeless.

What is the last line you wrote?  
“Need to get eggs!” (a.k.a. grocery list)

Connect with Mirka

6 Replies to “Interview with Mirka Breen!”

  1. I really enjoyed your interview, Mirka. Even though I’ve known you for a while, I learned some new tidbits. As for psychic powers, I initially thought–yes, that’s what I would pick too. But then I realized that I would want to heal *everybody*. And there might be a slight problem with over-population. So, it’s probably just as well that I stick to my limited powers. 🙂

    Thank you, Vanessa, for hosting! Best wishes to both of you.

  2. So very interesting! I, too, love Eeyore. And Gus Gus, the portly mouse from Cinderella. Great interview.

  3. Love your answers, Mirka. Your dream vacation sounds like my dream vacation (except I’m not particular about theatre so I’d probably pick a hotel near a fabulous and quiet park so I can do my reading and painting there).

  4. Mirka,

    I enjoyed the interview! I learned a few new things about you.
    Your spy novel sounds intriguing. Can’t wait to read it.

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