TCL’s Countdown Questions #2: Author Rabbi Ilene Schneider.

An Alternative Author Interview:

TCL’s Countdown Questions.

This meme was inspired by my fellow blogger Jill Doyle who has a lovely thing on her blog called “Five on Friday” where she asks authors five questions that each require five answers. After quite a bit of thinking, I came up with my own version of this, with the following that I call TCL’s Countdown Questions:

  • If you could visit five (5) places you’ve never been, where would you go and why?
  • Name four (4) foods or dishes that you enjoy so much that they’ve practically become part of your personality.
  • There is the past, the present, and the future – if you could choose, which of these three (3) would you prefer to live in, and why?
  • Best and worst – you choose which – name two (2) of either your best moments of your life, worst moments of your life, or one of each.
  • Name one (1) book you’ve read in the past year (or so) that you wish you had written, and why.

When I first put out feelers for this meme, I was sure that no one would reply. However, the response has been amazing. In fact, less than 30 minutes after I got the answers from Melanie Benjamin for last week’s meme, I received these answers from Rabbi Ilene Schneider, author of the Rabbi Aviva Cohen Mystery series, all three of which I’ve reviewed here – Chanukah Guilt, Unleavened Dead, and Yom Killer. Ilene is a colleague of my sister, who is also a rabbi, so I know her personally. I knew her answers would be fun, and they certainly are. Here you go!

  • If you could visit five (5) places you’ve never been, where would you go and why?

The first is a no-brainer for me. As a birder, I would love to visit the Galapagos, especially during breeding season. I’ve seen videos of Blue-footed Boobies doing their endearingly funny mating dance, but I’m sure it’s even better in person. The next four are numbered for convenience, but are not in order of preference:

  1. Tahiti, because … well, because it’s Tahiti.
  2. Australia because … well, it’s Australia.
  3. A Doctor Who/Torchwood tour of London and Cardiff, plus Stonehenge, as I’d be in Great Britain anyway.
  4. The US National Parks. I’ve seen a few and they’ve been spectacular.
  • Name four (4) foods or dishes that you enjoy so much that they’ve practically become part of your personality.
  1. Popcorn. I’ve been known to decide if I’m in the mood to go to a movie based on whether I’m hungry enough for popcorn. (I always am.) I also rate movie theaters based on the quality of their popcorn. The theater closest to my home has awful popcorn. The one furthest away has much better popcorn. Guess which theater I frequent? At home, I’m virtuous and use a hot air popper. Of course, I then drown it in melted butter and salt.
  2. Frozen Milky Ways. The ultimate comfort food. When I was in second grade, I was afraid I was going to miss the school bus home, so I ran, and being athletic and graceful even then, I tripped and tore up my knee. As my mother was cleaning and bandaging it, she gave me a frozen Milky Way. Ever since, I’ve tried to keep a few in the freezer. I usually don’t succeed, though, as I eat them even when I’m not upset.
  3. Starbucks mint mocha Frappuccinos. Or, for that matter, any iced coffee. I’m not addicted. I can quit whenever I want. As if I’d ever want.
  4. Now for something completely different: a healthful food. There’s oatmeal, with butter, salt, cinnamon, and raisins. I know butter and salt aren’t exactly health foods, but let’s not be fanatical.

(As the first three are snacks, not real food, I’ll add another: eggs. Prepared any way. Eaten any time.)

popcorn-snack-facts

  • There is the past, the present, and the future – if you could choose, which of these three (3) would you prefer to live in, and why?

There’s nothing we can do to recreate or alter the past. The present has a way of becoming the past. So I’m going with the future. Why? I’m curious about what will be.

  • Best and worst – you choose which – name two (2) of either your best moments of your life, worst moments of your life, or one of each.

Worst: when I heard my cousin, Peter had been killed in an auto accident. He was my father’s first cousin, but we were born only five weeks apart and lived in the same three-family house – bought by my great grandfather, Peter’s grandfather, around 1910 – until we were four years old. He also was a redhead, and people thought we were twins. And we were closer than many siblings are. After almost forty-nine years, I still think about him often and wonder what he would be like at seventy rather than twenty-one.

Best (because I don’t want to end with a downer): my wedding day, the arrival of my sons, holding my first novel for the first time, being ordained. And many other good milestones.

  • Name one (1) book you’ve read in the past year (or so) that you wish you had written, and why.

Not a book, but a series of short satirical commentaries. I am insanely jealous of Andy Borowitz because I wish I had written his articles first.

header-borowitz@3x
https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report


Thanks Ilene!
(Hm… that’s two out of two authors who want to visit Australia. Should I tell them that I’ve been there and yes, it is worth the trip?)

Rabbi Ilene Schneider, Ed.D., one of the first women rabbis in the U.S., has decided what she wants to be when she grows up: a writer. Despite spending her retirement (from earning a regular paycheck) birding, gardening, going to movies, traveling, and over-sharing on Facebook, she is the author of the Rabbi Aviva Cohen Mysteries. Chanukah Guilt, nominated for the Deadly Ink David Award for Best Mystery, was one of My Shelf’s Top Ten Reads, and was a Midwest Book Review Reviewers Choice Book. Unleavened Dead, also nominated for the Deadly Ink David Award for Best Mystery, was awarded First Place from the Public Safety Writers Association, and was called by Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine “… a solid, funny mystery that provides an insider’s look at Jewish life.” The third book in the series, Yom Killer, won the David Award for the best mystery novel at the 2017 Deadly Ink conference.

Her short story, “Miami Snow,” and flash fiction, “Perfect,” also won first place awards from the Public Safety Writers Association contest.

Her non-fiction books include the best-selling Talk Dirty Yiddish: Beyond Drek: The Curses, Slang, and Street Lingo You Need to Know When You Speak Yiddish, now released in a revised version as Talking Dirty – in Yiddish? The Jewish Forward described Talk Dirty Yiddish as “Such a breezy, engaging book, I should be so lucky to write.” She designed a website of questions and answers about Chanukah (http://whyninecandles.com), and edited Recipes by the Book: Oak Tree Authors Cook.

She lives in Marlton, NJ, with her husband, Rabbi Gary M. Gans, and sons Natan and Ari Schneider-Gans.

Websites/Blog: https://rabbiauthor.com
https://whyninecandles.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/rabbi.author
Rabbi Ilene Schneider’s books on Amazon.

 

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