Author Interview with International Author Merle R Saferstein

Author Interview with Merle R. Saferstein

Author Interview with International Author Merle R Saferstein

Welcome to Author Services Australia, Merle R Saferstein, and welcome to our author interviews!

If you could start by introducing yourself to everyone, let them know where you’re from and some of your interests and hobbies.

I am from Miami, Florida, although I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States. I’ve been an educator all my life. In my last position of 26 years, I was the director of educational outreach at a Holocaust Center. I worked with hundreds of Holocaust survivors, helping them pass along their legacies of remembrance. I retired in 2011 and began teaching a course I developed entitled Living and Leaving Your Legacy®.

I live near a beach, and most enjoy walking the beach in search of seashells. I love reading, walking daily, gardening, spending time in nature, and staying connected to family and friends.

What inspired you to start writing?

When I was a young girl, I used to write letters to my family all over the country and the world since I missed them. I remember telling myself then that I needed to live an interesting life so I would have something to write merle r saferstein

What is your preferred genre to write in?

My preferred genre is journaling. I began keeping a journal in 1974, right before I turned 30. I have been journaling ever since and currently have a collection of over 380 journals.

In 2002 I began reading my journals and taking excerpts from them in the hopes of leaving my legacy for my children. I chose seventy topics and eventually narrowed them down to twenty-two. Initially, each subject was roughly 75–450 pages, all taken from journals dated between 1974–2016. After careful editing, I included the excerpts that best captured my thoughts, feelings, conversations, encounters, memories, dreams, travel adventures, and more. I created two books entitled Living and Leaving My Legacy, Vols. l and ll. At some point, I decided to publish them for a broader audience.

What is your writing process?

I generally wake up early each day and journal for at least 30 minutes to an hour. I journal with a fountain pen.

When I was working on my books, I spent hours every day for months at a time at my computer. Mostly, at that point, I was editing.

What is one thing you wish you knew now that you didn’t know when you started writing?

I started writing well before computers. I used to go through many legal pads as I would write and then rewrite. What I might have wished for was that computers were accessible then.

What was the hardest part of self-publishing?

I self-published my first book, Room 732. What was especially difficult for me was that I had no idea about publishing then. I often felt somewhat lost and would have wished for more guidance.

When I self-published in 2012, it was just becoming popular.  Prior to that, there was often a stigma attached to self-publishing. It took a while for me to let go of my concern about whether people would look at the book differently because I didn’t have a publisher.

If you use a pen name, why and how did you come up with it?


Which book is your favorite and why?

My favorite book is A Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. When I read it many years ago, it was a time in my life when I was home with two young children. The book describes how Anne left her family for two weeks and went to the beach as a form of retreat. It captivated me and planted a seed in my mind. Many years later, I left home for three months, rented a room, and wrote—much like Anne Morrow Lindbergh had done.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Anne Frank and her diary always spoke to my soul. A favorite author of mine is May Sarton. The first book I read of hers was a journal entitled A House by the Sea. As a result of that book, I was able to identify with Sarton, and it helped me to validate that I was, in fact, a writer. I have since read all of her journals as well as her novels.

There are many authors now that I love reading, but mostly I have found that what calls to me above all else these days are memoirs.

What are you working on right now?

I have just completed Living and Leaving My Legacy, Vol. ll, published on June 20, 2023. What I am involved with now is the marketing aspect of the book and the first volume.

I am currently working on a project entitled Wisdom of the Century. We are interviewing 90 people over 90 and will eventually create a coffee table book. I do half the interviews but am responsible for synthesizing each of the interviews into one page.

How do you handle a bad review?

I received only one bad review on my first book ten years ago and none since then. How I handled it was to call my friend, who was a published author, and speak with her. She helped me talk through the disappointment and accept that it happened. The most important lesson I have learned is that readers read through their lens. When a reader writes a bad review, it can mean that my book just isn’t for that person. It doesn’t necessarily mean my book deserves a one or two-star rating. Nonetheless, a bad review never feels good.

What’s next for you as an author?

What I am doing is going through hundreds of letters I wrote to my friend Tom, and he wrote to me. We had always planned to put these letters into a book entitled A Seminar by the Sea. Unfortunately, Tom died in October, so I am not sure that it’s something I am prepared to do at this time. I guess I’ll know as I move forward in reading the letters.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

My hope is that in five years, I will continue to speak and teach locally, nationally, and internationally. I expect to be a sought-out legacy educator who shares her wisdom from a well-lived life.

If you could choose one superpower, what would it be and why?

I would love to be someone who could heal others from the trauma they endured. I know one person can make a difference, and I do my best to be there for others in emotional pain. Unfortunately, there are so many who are struggling in our world today.

Where is your ultimate holiday destination?

I don’t have an exact spot, but I am happiest near water (ocean, lakes, etc.) or in the mountains. As long as I’m in nature, I will be happy.

What are some of the items on your bucket list?

I work hard to do those things that bring me joy and don’t put them off. However, I have a wanderlust spirit, so travel is on my list.

I’ve always wanted to go to Holland and see the fields of tulips in bloom. While there, I would love to go to the Anne Frank House.

I want to explore and hike through the northwest of the United States.

Other places I would love to visit: are Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Italy (I’ve been to only part of Italy and would like to see it all), Hawaii, and more.

Thanks so much for taking the time to do an author interview, Merle R Saferstein! Please take a minute and check Merle R Saferstein out on the links below! If you would like to do an author interview, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

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Author Name: Merle R Saferstein

Genre/s: Legacy Journal/memoir

Author Website:

Social Media Links: LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Amazon Author Central, Twitter, and Goodreads.

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Merle R. Saferstein Author Spotlight

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