Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Elizabeth Zelvin

Elizabeth Zelvin is the author of Death Will Get You Sober and Death Will Help You Leave Him.

From her Q & A at Lost in Books:

Q. First, thanks for agreeing to answer my questions. I want to start off with the protagonist, Bruce Kohler, who narrates the books. Many mystery writers have protagonists who struggle with alcoholism, but you have one who is a recovering alcoholic. Why did you approach the character from this point?

A. Apart from being a writer for my whole life and loving mysteries, my primary reason for writing these books was and is that I have something to say about recovery, which is a remarkable process of transformation that takes great courage and honesty on the part of those who recover. The first book, Death Will Get You Sober, is dedicated to them.

Q. You are a psychotherapist in addition to being a writer. How much do you draw upon your experiences for the books while still maintaining client confidences?

A. Besides being a psychotherapist, I spent fifteen years working in and then directing alcoholism treatment programs. My private practice, both in a conventional therapy office (more than fifteen years) and now as an online therapist (almost ten years), has included many clients who have been affected by addictions, codependency, and compulsive behaviors such as eating disorders and compulsive spending, either in themselves or people they love, as well as adult children of alcoholics, sexual abuse survivors, and survivors of other kinds of family dysfunction. My characters are fictional. I would never write about a real particular client. But a lot of recovering people have written to say how much they appreciate my getting it right. Recovery is my briar patch—if you remember Brer Rabbit, that’s...[read on]
The Page 99 Test: Death Will Get You Sober.

The Page 69 Test: Death Will Help You Leave Him.

--Marshal Zeringue