Nellcott Is My Darling is Golda’s second book and a finalist for the 2005 Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction. Her first was a collection of short stories titled Darkness Then a Blown Kiss. This poet / author grew up in Toronto, studied in Montreal and currently resides in North Carolina where she works as an English Instructor. She has been honing her craft of sixteen years. If you haven’t heard of Golda, it’s about time you got to know her.
Moe: Looking back was there something in particular that helped you to decide to become a writer? Did you choose it or did the profession choose you?
Golda Fried: I’ve always wanted to be a creative artist of some kind. I’ve done dance, art, film, acoustic guitar, photography and writing.
Moe: When did you ‘know’ you were a writer?
Golda Fried: I only feel like a writer on days that I write.
Moe: Were you a good writer as a child? Teenager? Etc.
Golda Fried: No, I was better at math and sciences but my English teachers in high school were really inspiring.
Moe: What inspires you?
Golda Fried: Good movies, other good books, kind people.
Moe: Every writer has a method that works for them. Most of them vary like the wind while some seem to follow a pattern similar to other writers. On a typical writing day, how would you spend your time?
Golda Fried: I’ve never had a concrete writing schedule. I do find that I write best though late at night or early in the morning.
Moe: How long does it take for you to complete a book you would allow someone to read?
Golda Fried: Both books took me between three and four years while doing other things.
Moe: Do you write right through or do you revise as you go along?
Golda Fried: I try to write full scenes and then put them down and come back to them and work on them a little more, many times over.
Moe: When it comes to plotting, do you write freely or plan everything in advance?
Golda Fried: Freely.
Moe: What kind of research do you do before and during a new book?
Golda Fried: I do as much as I can. I ask people about certain memories. I read books with similar topics.
Moe: Do you visit the places you write about?
Golda Fried: Usually, I have lived in the places I write about in the past and miss them.
Moe: How much of yourself and the people you know manifest into your characters? Where do your characters come from? Where do you draw the line?
Golda Fried: Characters are amalgamations of people I’ve known. They can’t be exactly one person because everyone’s constantly changing and a mystery even if I’m involved with them.
Moe: Writers often go on about writer’s block. Do you ever suffer from it and what measures do you take to get past it?
Golda Fried: I do have writer’s block / get depressed / feel used up after I finish a book. I try to take the pressure to write off myself and to just keep busy and read other people’s stuff.
Moe: When someone reads one of your books for the first time, what do you hope they gain, feel or experience?
Golda Fried: I hope they laugh out loud at least once.
Moe: What kinds of things do fans write to you about?
Golda Fried: Some people say my new book would make a good gift for someone at university or who is about to go to university.
Moe: What’s your latest book about?
Golda Fried: My novel, Nellcott Is My Darling, is about a girl’s first year in the dorm at McGill University and the people she meets and the guy she dates.
Moe: What kind of books do you like to read?
Golda Fried: Biographies, especially rock biographies.
Fiction by, among others, Banana Yoshimoto, Poppy Z. Brite, Tiffanie Debartolo, J.D. Salinger, Pagan Kennedy, Tennessee Williams (short stories) and Nick Hornby. Plus, books by Canadian authors like Jonathan Goldstein, Ken Sparling, Derek McCormack, Lydia Eugene, Sandra Jeppesen, etc.
Books on writing, such as Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones.
Poetry by, among others, Charles Bukowski, Anne Sexton, Zoe Whittall, Emily Pohl-Weary, Heather O’Neill, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Dorothy Parker and E.E. Cummings.
Moe: When you’re not writing what do you do for fun?
Golda Fried: I watch the Gilmore Girls and walk my dog.
Moe: New writers are always trying to glean advice from those with more experience. What suggestions do you have for new writers?
Golda Fried: There are readers out there who need good stories like they need hope.
Moe: If you weren’t a writer what would you be?
Golda Fried: A depressive.
Moe: What is your favourite word?
Golda Fried: Poem.
- Purchase Golda Fried’s Nellcott Is My Darling from Amazon.com.
- Purchase Golda Fried’s Nellcott Is My Darling from Amazon.ca.
Originally published 9/15/2005 at Literary Fiction, BellaOnline.