Interview with Alexandra Fleder, Author of Woman Unbroken
14 Nov 2023
What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Woman Unbroken?
I wrote this book after escaping from a relationship that left me feeling very shaken. I was lucky—I had the foresight to extricate myself from the situation pretty quickly, but the experience felt like it was stuck inside me, like it had settled in my bones. I could see how a woman could be trapped by a relationship like this, and how it could destroy her. I started writing Woman Unbroken as a way to banish that experience from by body.
If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Woman Unbroken, what would they be?
For Devorah, the main character, it’s “Roll with It” by Steve Winwood. I even reference it in my book because life hands us lots of obstacles and all we can do it is “roll with it” to get to the other side.
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
My favorite genres to read are any books written by women—fiction, poetry, short stories and memoirs. My favorite genre to write is fiction. Other than writing poetry and short essays, fiction feels the most natural to me for right now, but that may change in time.
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
I have about four books that I’m halfway through but when I’m done with those, the next on my list is If Women Rose Rooted: The Power of the Celtic Woman by Sharon Blackie. It sounds like the kind of book I’d love!
What scene in your book was your favorite to write?
The end! It was the hardest to write. I wrote this book in 2018, but couldn’t figure out how to end it, so it just sat on my computer and languished for a few years. Finally, I got up the courage to send it to an editor who confirmed that the end I had wasn’t effective. So, I sat with that thought for a few weeks and when I sat down to re-write it, it just flowed through me so easily and effortlessly. Now it’s my favorite part!
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
Just like Devorah, the main character, I always need to have a cup of hot tea nearby, and of course, my cat. Back when I wrote this, it was my female cat Koto. She was always by my side and I credit her with getting me through some very hard moments in my life. Now it’s my blind cat Ray Charles. He’s sitting next to me now.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
A cup of tea and a walk solves a lot of problems.
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?
I think women, particularly young women, can be so desperate to be in a relationship that they’ll ignore a hundred red flags, and unwittingly find themselves with a narcissist. I want women to remember that it’s a million times better to be single than to be embroiled in this kind of toxic relationship. I want women to ask themselves how they feel when they meet someone new. Do you feel calm and grounded? Or anxious? Or how do you feel about the relationship you’re in now (if you have one)?
A lot of us lie to ourselves, we get wrapped up in the mind, but your body is incapable of lying. If you feel anxious or depleted, or if you feel like your relationship is laced with confusion or chaos, don’t walk, but RUN away and save yourself.
Alexandra Fleder is the author of the new book Woman Unbroken: A Novel
Connect with Alexandra FlederAuthor Site
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