I’ve been talking about creativity in non-fiction writing recently and here we have the next in my interview series on the subject. Today we’re meeting Joey Avniel, who’s written fiction based on memoir, non-fiction based on family issues he’s experienced, and a health-related book based on his experiences as a vegan (I love books like that, and wrote my own anti-cholesterol diet book out of my research on that topic, so it’s nice to “meet” other people who’ve done the same). Read how Joey’s crafted experiences from his life into three very different books, and if you have any questions, do post a comment!
Hello, Joey, and thanks for joining in the discussion. Tell me a bit about yourself first, please …
I worked for many years as a coach and in my first books I shared the insights of my own experience and what I’ve learned working with my students. My first book was a fiction book and it’s called: One-Legged Seagull: A Warrior’s Journey to Inner Peace. Then my second one was a non-fiction one, about fixing the relationship with your mother. It’s called: Drama with Mama – Eleven Ways To Stop Fighting With Your Mother. Then, since I’m an enthusiastic vegan, and I did a lot of research, about health and diet, I wrote my last book which is called: The Healing Foods – Heal Your Body & Lose Weight with Delicious, Earth-friendly, Healthy Food.
How did you start writing, and which came first, fiction or non-fiction?
My first book was fiction, based on my life path. You can say that the book choose me and forced me to write it. I simply couldn’t fall asleep at night, if I didn’t write some.
Did you always want to write (a memoir / non-fiction) or was this a relatively late development?
After I published my fiction story, I felt like I need to introduce the insights from the fiction book also in a non-fiction way.
I recently blogged about finding that writing non-fiction was still “creative”. Do you agree, or is only fiction writing truly creative?
Writing a good non-fiction book is very creative. If you want to touch your readers’ heart, you need to be creative. They need to feel you and your writing, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction.
I’ve heard it said that memoir should be considered as “creative non-fiction” – do you agree with that description? How do you think writing memoir differ from writing fiction on the one hand and non-fiction on the other?
I used my own life story in my fiction book, changing it of course, to make the book more interesting. Every character has a bit of me in it. Then, in my second book, a non-fiction one, I use a lot of stories from my own life and my relationships with my parents. But, it’s not a memoir. One thing I can say is that I like the freedom of rewriting my life story when writing fiction.
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