Upon the release of her new novel Among the Branded, author Linda Smolkin tells us a little more about the woman behind the book.

Linda Smolkin

Linda Smolkin

One of my best life experiences involved quitting a job. In my 20s, I quit a secure job and moved to Russia for a year to teach English. It was bitter cold there, but the experience gave me a new perspective on life.

My husband and I met at a volleyball game/picnic. I was on a blind date, but not with my husband. He happened to be there, and we hit it off. To this day, we both suck at volleyball but excel at sarcasm.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. In my youth, I spent a lot of time watching TV shows and commercials. At the time, I didn’t know the profession was called copywriter, but that’s what I became after graduating university. Also, I’ve been writing novels for years, but Among the Branded is the first published.

I used to be allergic to chocolate. As a kid, I’d break out in all-over hives if I ate chocolate. As an adult, I can eat it in moderation. Why couldn’t I be allergic to doing the dishes or laundry instead?

I only have one hobby. Ever since I was 10, I wanted to play the drums. Three years ago, I bought my first set. It’s a lot of fun and, for me, better than going to the gym. Some of my neighbors think it’s my teenage son playing.

I’ve always had a pet. We got our first dog when I was 6, and I’ve had a dog or a cat ever since. Sure, the vacuum is my best friend, but I couldn’t imagine life without a furry companion (besides my husband).

I failed math my first semester at university. I never used to tell this story, but now it’s out in the open. I retook math the second semester and got an A. Even with the A, I think we’d all agree it was a good idea for me to become a writer and not an engineer.

I can’t watch horror movies. This I wish I could change! I’ve tried so many times, but within five minutes, I’m reaching for the remote. I did get through The Shining once—during the day with the blinds open. I’m a wimp; I admit it.

My guilty pleasure is reading gossip magazines. Twice a year, on my birthday and Mother’s Day, my dear husband buys me flowers and several gossip magazines. I put my feet up and devour them all in one sitting.

It’s hard to talk about myself. Coming up with 10 things took me a while. It’s like, hey, look at me and the interesting things I’ve done. In the end, I realized it’s hard to be the center of attention. (By the way, buy my book! I’m joking, not really.)