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FRAN - MORRIS KORNBLUTH INTERVIEW

The Borough of Brooklyn abounds with artists – painters and poets, musicians and sculptors, actors and singers.  It is a community of creativity, a place that has always embraced unique thought…along with egg crèmes.  It is in this spirit that one of Brooklyn’s own, Morris (Moe) Kornbluth, has recently taken up the pen (okay, keyboard) and written a uniquely inspiring book, FRAN, a memoir about his relationship with his wife and the difficulties they both faced after her diagnosis with Parkinson’s Disease.  Like Brooklyn, the book is made up of many interesting parts, and always honest.  Here’s a quick give and take with Moe that provides some more info on the book and his writing life. 

Q: Your new book, FRAN, tells the story of your life with your wife, Fran Justa, and the difficulties placed upon this relationship after her diagnosis with Parkinson’s. Why did you decide to write this book, and what do you hope readers will gain from it?

MK:  I was overcome by the problems I encountered with Fran.  Totally unaware of the changes that would occur to her both physically and mentally.  I was shocked by my reaction to her deteriorating condition and my responses to it.  I first thought that I would write about this experience so others who might encounter something similar would be better prepared and manage their situations better, more understanding and less stress.

Q:  FRAN encompasses so many memories of your life with your wife and your friends and family.  Was it a challenge to encapsulate so much information into one book?  How did you go about selecting information and scenes to share with the reader?

MK:  As I began to write the book I realized there were experiences I wanted to relate for the reader so they would get to know what made Fran admired and successful.  Writing about Fran as the subject enabled me to focus on specific events in her life that molded and defined her.  This story is really an homage to her achievements and that is what allowed me to pick and chose from her life experiences in order to describe her.  I tried to avoid the many details that might embellish the story but aren’t necessary in understanding a character.  Just note and focus on who she became and why she was so admired by many of the people who got to know her.

Q: The writing style you chose for FRAN is conversational, economical, as if you are talking right to the reader.  Why did you choose this style and why do you think it’s right for this book?

MK:  I really didn’t give too much consideration to style.  I initially wanted to prepare others who might encounter a situation with a loved one who has an indescribable illness and possibly, how to face it.  It isn’t a medical treatise.  I wanted the book to be easy to read and to the point for the general public.

Q: You have chosen to self-publish this book.  What have you learned about this process you can share with other potential authors?

MK:  The writing part wasn’t difficult.  I had a message about degenerative diseases that was bursting to get out.  I had several people who were willing to read the draft and give me suggestions and edits.  I found out you can’t have too many edits but at some point you have to go on to the next step.  Find a publisher you feel comfortable with who can provide answers to your questions and offer alternate options.  Never be afraid to show your ignorance and your publisher should never be exasperated by your lack of knowledge.  My book changed from hard cover to soft, from color pictures to black and white, all to save on costs.  The self publisher I found interacted with me over the phone and vie emails.  They made me feel very comfortable and supported.

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Moe Kornbluth is from Brooklyn, NY.  In addition to writing, he plays golf, the trumpet, and organizes community events.