Interview and Q&A with Sandra Block

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Sandra A. Block graduated from college at Harvard, then returned to her native land of Buffalo, New York for medical training and never left. She is a practicing neurologist and proud Sabres fan, and lives at home with her husband, two children, and impetuous yellow lab Delilah. She has been published in both medical and poetry journals. Little Black Lies is her debut, and The Girl Without a Name in the next novel in the series.  The Secret Room comes out in April 2017! Mark your calendars!

 

 

 

 

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THE ZOE GOLDMAN THRILLER SERIES

 

 

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Book 3 coming out soon! 

 

 

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The Secret Room comes out in April 2017!

 

 

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Now, let’s talk Zoe Goldman…

 

 

CHARACTER Q&A

 

Who is Zoe Goldman and what does she want?

Zoe Goldman is a psychiatry resident. What she wants, depends on the book.- In Little Black Lies, she wants to find out the truth about her birth mother. In The Girl Without a Name, she wants to find out the identity of her teen-age Jane Doe. In The Secret Room, she wants to find out who is killing all of her patients. But when it comes down to it, what she really wants is to help her patients.

 

What can you tell us about her past?

She was adopted after her mother was killed in a tragedy. Her adoptive mother loved her and tried to protect her from her past. She depends on her little brother, a flaky computer whiz, but has a difficult and tenuous relationship with her biological family.

 

What are the distinguishing characteristics of Dr. Zoe Goldman?

Her most distinguishing feature is certainly her height. (“Above six feet” is all she’ll say). Her height, along with her ADHD, often lead her to feel uncomfortable in her own skin.

 

Name some of the flaws that hinder her goals.

Her biggest flaw – if you can call it that – is her ADHD. Her disorder causes her to be easily distracted and impulsive, but also makes her more empathetic to her patients, as well as primed to see connections that others miss.

 

Describe the work setting and the bearing it has on her.

Residency is a rough and tumble arena. The hospital is a sort of trial by fire. You are learning about medicine in the tumult of actual, sick patients, with the joy, camaraderie, and abject terror that this entails.

 

 

 

 

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What do you enjoy most about writing?

I enjoy falling into a trance-like state, and basically becoming someone else for a while. It’s almost like meditation for me.

I live in this trance-like state. Everyone keeps trying to pull me back in. *sigh*.

 

 

 

 

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Tell us about your writing process.

First off, I’m a plotter, not a pantser. In my opinion, drafting is hard enough without having a blue plan at the ready. Next step is to make major revisions, refitting scenes and taking out or putting in subplots. Finally, when all the hard work is done, I earn the joy of shining the words.

Marvelous. I love hearing about the writing process. 

 

 

WRITING

“Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing.”~Melinda Haynes

 

 

Name 3 things you struggle with as an author.

Self-doubt

Impatience

Constant distraction!

These seem very familiar to me, unfortunately. The three evil amigos.

 

 

 

 

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What’s it like being a Neurologist?

For me, it’s a bit like juggling a bunch of balls. I see patients, read sleep studies, monitor surgeries as well as read EEGs. It’s sort of like four jobs in one, and that doesn’t count writing!

You must be a great juggler then!

 

 

 

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What’s your favorite part of the nervous system?

THE BRAIN!

You gotta love the brain! The most fascinating to me is the Cerebellum, Amygdala, Somatosensory cortex, Thalamus and Hypothalamus. Motor and Sensory pathways too. Neuromuscular junctions…Ok I’ll stop there.

 

 

 

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What have you published in medical journals?

I’ve published a few case study reports – basically fascinating neuroimaging cases. I thought I wanted to go into neuro-radiology before I changed my mind and went into electrophysiology instead.

Cool! Have any Frankenstein’s in the basement by any chance? C’mon, be honest.

 

 

 

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Can you share with us a poem you published in a journal?

I wrote the poem my 20’s and, sadly, it’s on a floppy disk somewhere! But, I remember it was called “What the A Stands For.” Can you guess what work of literature that refers to?

Nope. You racked my brains. No pun intended. Man, floppy discs! Those rascals are ancient! 

 

 

 

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What is your upcoming novel the Secret Room about?

It is the last of my Zoe Goldman series. She is now a forensic psychiatry fellow, and someone is killing her patients. She needs to figure out who it is, because they’re coming after her next!

YES. Can’t wait to read this one. Too bad it’s the last book in the series,  I was just getting used to Zoe.

 

 

Thanks Sandra

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.thewritingtrain.com

 

 

 

 

 

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