I am so excited to welcome Alegra Loewenstein, author of Body Wisdom Journal. She is here today to talk to us about her latest book, her writing process, and her life in general. If you have questions that aren’t covered in this interview, please feel free to comment below so she can answer them.
Let’s start by finding out a little bit about you…
- What is your name and do you write under a pen name?
My name is Alegra Loewenstein. I don’t use a pen name, though if I started to write in a different genre, I might.
- Where do you call home?
San Diego, CA
I love San Diego. I moved there for a year after college before moving up to Los Angeles. Its a beautiful place with the most amazing weather.
- Obviously, we know you are an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you believe you’re any good at it? Do you like what you do?
I write my own books (author) and I also write other people’s books (ghostwriter). My clients are happy, so I think I’m pretty good at it! I enjoy the work, and I find it to be a very different creative process than writing my own books.
That is so interesting. As an author myself, I would worry that spending so much time writing for other people would distract me from my own manuscripts.
- What is your family like?
I am close with my family. We like to laugh together and make food together.
- If it doesn’t bother you, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?
I grew up in a house that looked like southern California… but we were in Texas!!
- Do you have any hobbies, other than writing? What do you enjoy doing?
I like to walk in nature and make crafty stuff. I also enjoy cooking (but I hate cleaning).
- What is your greatest dream?
I have a very big book project that I’d like to bring to fruition. I’m a bit superstitious about it, so I can’t tell you that much, but it’s sort of a memoir.
- What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?
Hmm. That’s a good question. I think I do a pretty good job on improving myself. I guess maybe I’d like to be more patient with my kids and more vulnerable with my loved ones.
- Not to pry too much, but do you remember your first love?
Wow, getting tricky. I had a lot of crushes. My first one was in elementary school. Taylor Clark. He was more of a frenemy though.
- What is the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
I think my life has been overall pretty lucky. I have had some disturbing experiences that involved being under the influence and being in situations that could have turned out very very very very bad. They are disturbing to think about, even though at the same time I am grateful they weren’t worse.
- What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
I’ve always loved writing. I went to a school that encouraged creativity and love of nature, and those things inspired me.
That is wonderful. I think all to often now, schools are not fostering a love for books, writing, or other creative arts. As a mom, I am always teaching my kids the importance of reading everything and expressing themselves creatively.
- What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
I used to want to live in San Francisco, and that never happened. I also wanted to combine science and art in my profession, and I do feel that I’ve succeeded in that.
- Who is your role model?
I love Lady Bird Johnson. She was such an advocate for wildflowers! I also love Michael Pollan and his ability to dive deep into subjects and give common sense answers.
- What is your greatest fear?
I am very afraid of physical pain in my life. Also, I fear having a lot of regrets.
- Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books?
Sorry trees. I love paperbacks.
- Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so, what was it?
Many times. Brighty of the Grand Canyon as a kid. The Hero Within as an adult. More I can’t think of.
- What is your opinion of novellas?
Like a small novel? I like small books for nonfiction, though for fiction I prefer about 300 pages.
- Have you ever read a book just based on its cover?
I don’t think so.
- What is your favorite film based on a book?
Harry Potter did a great job!
- What is your favorite book genre at the moment?
I’m kind of obsessed with nonfiction!
- What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why?
Oh, that stack is too big to recall! My book club is reading the Testaments. I’m working my way through Persephone Rising. And about ten more.
- What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
I just finished The Magician’s Nephew on my kindle because I was on a trip.
- If you could invite any four (4) celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why?
Lady Bird Johnson and Michael Pollan from above – I also think they’d be super interesting to talk to. Michelle Obama because after I read her book, we were obviously best friends. Maybe Jill Lublin because she’s not that famous, but I went to her workshop once and she was awesome.
Let’s shift somewhat and talk about your latest story.
- What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say?
Body Wisdom Journal. It’s about getting in touch with your body as a tool for self-awareness and intuition.
- Is the above book part of a series?
Not really, but since I write in non-fiction people do tend to buy more than one of them. They work together.
- How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)?
I have an amazing graphic designer! I send her a bunch of ideas and she makes something that looks great!!!
- Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your book(s)?
No music for this one. The superstitious memoir has a soundtrack though.
- How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?
I was trying to make it clear what the journal was about, though I’m not sure I succeeded. It’s all a learning process!
- Do you have a book trailer? If so, where can we watch it?
I’ve always wanted to make one, but since I write non-fiction, I’m not sure how I’d do it, plus my to do list is long enough.
- In your latest novel, who is the lead character and can you tell us a little about him/her?
I know that nonfiction is a deviation from the norm for your readers, so in this case there are no characters. Or perhaps we can say that you are the character! I was specifically looking for YA audience because I know that this guided journal really resonates with a youthful spirit.
Let’s talk now about your writing process.
- What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
I write very organically. So, while I have an outline, it changes as I write the book.
- Have you come across any specific challenges in writing or publishing? What would you do differently the next time?
I hate sitting still for long periods of time. That’s rough when you write for a living.
- Are you a self-published/Indie author or did you publish through a traditional publishing company?
Self-published on this one! I’ve experimented with hybrid publishing but have not had great experiences. I hope someday I’ll be recruited by a large publishing house, but I’ll wait for them to come to me.
- If you’re a self-published/Indie author what made you go that route instead of the traditional publishing route?
I have total control over the creative process, which is awesome. I can also just publish a book anytime I get an idea (and write it of course), and I don’t have to get approval or wait around. Plus, I love that if I re-read it a year later or whatever, and I find something I hate, I can just change it and update the file, and then from then on readers get the new version!
- What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
Balance the love of writing with a business plan so you can see success and not get discouraged.
That is wonderful advice. I find, as an author, that the hardest part isn’t the writing… its the marketing. The business aspect of being an author can be very difficult for creative types like me.
Where can your readers follow you? Please list links to any applicable websites and/or social media accounts.