In the Spotlight: Interview with The Book of Zev’ Marilyn Horowitz

Marilyn Ida Horowitz is a producer, writing coach, and award-winning professor of screenwriting at New York University. From her books on her trademarked writing system—now standard reading at NYU—to her appearances at Screenwriters World and The Great American Screenwriting Conference & PitchFest, Marilyn has guided the careers of literally hundreds of writers. She is currently featured in the Now Write! Screenwriting Anthology (Tarcher/Penguin) and in the upcoming The Expert Success Solution (Morgan James). Her production credits include And Then Came Love (2007), starring Vanessa Williams.

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About The Book of Zev 

The Book of Zev
The Book of Zev is a political thriller that tells the story of two gentle people who change the course of history. Zev Bronfman, a strapping 32-year old-virgin, angry atheist, refugee from a religious Jewish life, and former engineer for the U.S. Patent Office in Alexandria, Virginia, drives a cab and sleeps around in New York City. After a bitter divorce, Sarah Hirshbaum, a beautiful, redheaded, depressed, God-hating kosher chef, seesaws between yoga and too much red wine. Independently, the two consult the same psychic who inadvertently sends Sarah Zev’s session tape. When Sarah contacts Zev to pick up the recording, a series of events forces them to connect with a powerful terrorist in order to thwart his plans to destroy the UN and Israel.

Click here to read an Excerpt of The Book of Zev  

Pre-order from Amazon

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Marilyn.  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A:  I have been writing all of my life. I grew up in New York City. My father and grandfather were both Entertainment business attorneys, and my maternal grandmother was active in Jewish charity work.  My mother was a PhD. in Philosophy who later became a litigator. My grandparents co-authored a book called, Faith Through Reason, which was an attempt to reconcile Judaism and Christianity. One of my brothers writes on the food industry and has written three books on Meatpacking and kosher food. I have written several books on screenwriting, two of which are textbooks at New York University where I teach.  Writing was always inevitable.

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

The Book of Zev tells the story of two gentle people who prevent a terrorist from blowing up the U.N. and Israel. The theme of the book, summarized in the opening quote: “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” And the book is about people accepting their responsibility and acting upon it. I believe that we must take steps to prevent evil whenever an opportunity presents itself, no matter how big or small.

What kind of research was involved in writing  The Book Of Zev (please italicize book title here – no caps or quote marks)?

A:A great deal. I was not well versed in Orthodox Jewish practices or the fine points of Mid-Eastern culture.

Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

A: Bumpy. One year for the first draft, one year to revise, one year to sell and publish.

For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

A: Koehler books rocks! About eight months,

A: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing whom he/is is?  If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

A:I had a agent, and he was not the right man for the job, but a great man, so no names. I have always been the one who gets things done for me. I would love a to have a great agent sometime soon!

Do you plan subsequent books?

A:Yes, I am I50 pages into the next one.

Can you describe your most favorite place to write?

A: At home, cat in lap, listening to music.

If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

A:NY Times best seller campaign.

How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

A: Totally important. Have a publicist, a blog tour publicist and a book publicist.

What’s the most common reason you believe new writers give up their dream of becoming published and did you almost give up?

A: Fear.

Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

A: Overcome your fear and do it anyway!!!

Thank you for your interview, Marilyn.  I wish you much success!

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