Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Interview With Author Ilil Arbel - Moses Son Of Maimon Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway

Title: Moses Son of Maimon: The Life of Maimonides, 1135 to 1204 A.D.
Author Name: Ilil Arbel

Welcome! Ready to ride?

GR: Tell us about your latest release...

Moses, Son of Maimon is a biography of the great man we usually know as Maimonides, published by 21st Publishing. I consider him one of the most important and influential philosophers/scholars in Western culture. All the books about him dwell on his work – but I am a biographer, so I have created a real life story. Since I am bilingual in Hebrew, I found extremely interesting facts about his life, his family, and the places he lived. Letters, in particular, revealed much about his life that does not exist in English. I believe anyone interested in his work would find it enriching to know more about his own story – he was the most magnificent mass of contradiction you can imagine.

GR: What inspired you to start your writing journey?

Writing is my second career. I was an artist, an illustrator, for years. But I have always wanted to write and so slowly shifted my focus. I started with illustrated articles I created for a science magazine, called Science Probe.

GR: Who have been some authors that have inspired you along the way?

There were many, but I generally think Van Loon, with his book Lives, made me want to write biographies. W. Somerset Maugham made me want to write, period. Desiderius Erasmus, Thomas Mann, Charlotte Bronte, Brenda Ueland, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens… the list is long.

GR: What is one piece of marketing advice you can give to new authors?

If you are good at marketing, go for it, by all means. But don’t let it be a burden. If, like me, you are not good at it, find help from your publisher, your publicist, or a friend you can trade services with. Not everyone is a good salesperson, and it is pointless to succumb to the pressure Indies are under to become their own representatives or perish.

GR: If we went on the ride of our life, where is one place you'd like to be sure to stop along the way?

I would go back to my mid-thirties, and rethink some of my strategies for writing and publishing.

GR: Would you be afraid to ride on the back of my bike?

Yes, terrified. I have been once on the back of a motorcycle – and vowed to never do it again.

GR: What can we expect from you in the future? Any new projects?

I am working on two projects. The biography of Hillel the Elder, named The Golden Rule. Some of it is already published as a blog on my website as “a book in progress” since I believe that feedback from readers is extremely important, and also because I suspect that many books will be done like that in the future. The second project is a book I was requested to write for the Angela Thirkell Society of North America, who had published several of my books. It is a totally different field – a historical mystery occurring in the 1920’s. The book does not have a name yet – but it is the sequel to Madame Koska and the Imperial Brooch and will be her third adventure.

Thank you so much for chatting with me today. I wish you the best of success and to always leave your hair blowing in the wind!

Author Bio:

Ilil Arbel is the author of a number of fiction and non-fiction books, including biographies, memoirs, novels, and mythology/folklore. She has also written articles, short stories, and Judaic myths.

Arbel has a Ph.D. in the field of mythology and folklore but has also devoted much study to her special interest in Jewish history, biography, legends, and myths. She is currently engaged in writing the biography of Hillel the Elder, the first century B.C. leader and religious scholar.

Dr. Arbel was born in Tel Aviv, Israel. She has lived and studied in Tel Aviv, Paris, and New York and currently resides in Manhattan.

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Book Genre: Historical Biography
Publisher: 21st Publishing
Release Date: Feb 12, 2015
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Book Description (LONG): Born into a distinguished family in medieval Cordoba, Spain, the young Moses Maimonides was quickly recognized by his teachers for his outstanding intellectual abilities and extraordinary versatility. At the age of twelve, when his peaceful world was shattered by war and persecution and his family was forced into exile, his religious and secular studies continued. Despite the years of wandering and the harsh conditions, he also developed into a writer and wrote extensively until the end of his life.

After years of wandering and relatively short stays in Morocco and Israel, Maimonides and his family settled in Egypt. The Jewish community quickly recognized his genius, and after completing his important book, the Mishneh Torah, he was recognized internationally as the chief religious and legal authority of the entire Jewish world. He produced many books on diverse subjects such as philosophy, law, religion, and medicine that are considered extremely important to this day by Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike. Despite experiencing loss and controversies, Maimonides rose to eminence as both the official head of the Jewish community in Cairo and the private physician to the sultan and his court.

His world was full of contradictions. A man who abhorred excess of any kind, Maimonides nevertheless lived as a member of a glittering society. Cairo of that time was full of art, music, literature, elegant fashions, priceless jewelry, and sophisticated food. He moved among the sultan’s wealthy advisors and the elegant ladies of the royal harem during the day, and among the Jewish scholars in the evening. He was accused of supporting corporal punishment for wives, and at the same time, people gasped at his revolutionary defense of women’s rights.

His fame brought controversy that is still raging—eight hundred years after his death. At certain times his books were banned and even burned at the stake. But no one could ever deny that his work was that of a brilliant innovator and scholar who could reconcile religious traditions with science and philosophy like no one else.

Book Description (SHORT): Moses Maimonides brought controversy that is still raging—eight hundred years after his death. At certain times his books were banned and even burned at the stake. But no one could ever deny that his work was that of a brilliant innovator and scholar who could reconcile religious traditions with science and philosophy like no one else.

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