Who’s That Indie Author? Jill Culiner

Jill Culiner

Author Name: Thank you so much, Barb, for having me here on your blog. My author name is Jill Culiner but I also write romance as J. Arlene Culiner

Genre: I write non-fiction, mysteries, as well as romance, and romantic suspense.

Books: My non-fiction book is: Finding Home in the Footsteps of the Jewish Fusgeyers.

My mysteries are: Death by Slanderous Tongue and Sad Summer in Biarritz.

My romances are: All About Charming Alice, Desert Rose, A Swan’s Sweet Song, Felicity’s Power and A Turkish Affair.

Are you a full-time author? If not, what’s your side gig? I am also a social critical artist, a cartoonist, a photographer, and very occasionally I work as an actress.

Favorite authors/books: At the moment I love Kapka Kassabova, Charles King, Robert A. Rosenstone, Stephen Morris, W.G. Sebald and Anita Brookner.

What experiences or people have influenced your writing the most? Wonderful books like those of the above authors.

Do you keep a writing journal and if so, how do you use it? I kept a journal for most of my life and I’m glad I did because much of my writing is the result of what I wrote down. However, unless I’m travelling and working on a project, I no longer keep one. Everything I write is for my books or my podcast. That’s enough writing for me.

Do you belong to a writers’ group? If so, describe your experience: No, I don’t. I live in a French-speaking country and I write in English. I do have the feeling I write in isolation, but that’s just fine.

Are you up with the sun or do you burn the midnight oil? Usually, I’m an early riser. My brain turns itself off at around 9:00 pm and I become lazy and dull-witted.

How do you get over a writing slump? I go do something else. If it is a temporary slump—being at war with a paragraph, for example—I’ll go for a walk. If it is a long slump, I’ll just stop writing for a few months. I know the world won’t come to an end if I take a big pause and let my subconscious get to work.

Do you prefer writing dialogue or descriptive passages? I love both. I love writing down cynical, satirical, tongue-in-cheek descriptions, and conversations.

What are you working on now? I’m editing my two most recent manuscripts. One is a non-fiction about a rebellious poet I fell madly in love with. Unfortunately, he died 130 years ago, but I tracked him down in Ukraine, Romania, Austria, and Turkey. The book, A Contrary Journey: with Velvel Zbarzher, Bard, will be published by Claret Press in October.

The other manuscript, The Room in Blake’s Folly, is a romance that starts in 1889 in a Nevada saloon and ends in 2020. I was inspired by the idea that we’ll never know the sort of mischief our ancestors got up to.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about writing and publishing a book? Read, read some more, read in other genres, read non-fiction, read history, read excellent poetry, read wonderful writers like Anita Brookner or the other authors mentioned above.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which podcasts do you find the most interesting? I have my own storytelling podcast: https://soundcloud.com/j-arlene-culiner. But I love old the Podcasts on France Culture (history, analysis, stimulating stuff).

Favorite escape: Cooking, experimenting with food, inventing dishes and eating

Have you ever tried Kombucha tea? No. What is it?

Do you prefer a couch with pillows or no pillows? Don’t own one so I can’t answer.

Would you rather rake leaves, shovel snow or weed? I never weed because weeds are simply wild flowers that insects need: we desperately need insects. Ditto for raking, because they provide ground cover for the beasties we need and because leaves are also wonderful mulch. As for snow, I live in such a temperate part of the world (France) that snow only comes around for a day or two each year. It’s so lovely, why shovel it away?

Favorite mask – disposable paper, plain fabric, colorful print or something else? Definitely a reusable mask. We don’t need more throw-away items in the world.

Biggest writing challenge since Covid-19 I haven’t really noticed a difference in my life other than not being able to sit in cafés and restaurants for long lunches with friends.

Website and social media links:
For romances:
Website: j-arleneculiner.com
Blog: j-arleneculiner.over-blog.com
Amazon Author: J. Arlene Culiner
Goodreads Author: J. Arlene Culiner
Facebook: J Arlene Culiner (J Arlene Culiner Romances)

For other books: 
Website: jill-culiner.com
Amazon Author: Jill Culiner
Blog: jewish-histories.over-blog.com


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Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

27 thoughts on “Who’s That Indie Author? Jill Culiner

    1. Hello Hope. The book about the Ukrainian poet, Velvel Zbarzher, was the most wonderful challenge. It took me ten years to do the research and to write about him, and learn about the things against which he was protesting. It also involved a lot of travel through snowstorms in Romania and Ukraine. I knew Romania fairly well, though, because for my book, Finding Home, I actually walked across the country…but that was in spring, thank goodness. Thanks for your comment.

      1. You did – I’ll try to get it to you in the next day. Sorry, I’ve been swamped at work and home! 🙂 Thank you for your interest and hope you are well.

      2. No worries, Barbara. I’ll be promoting my children’s book through the end of next month. I also have a Mother’s Day trip coming up to see my daughter and granddaughters. Probably I could write to you in the later part of May. 🙂

      3. Okay that sounds great – I’m working today and just catching up on comments now, but I’m off tomorrow and will definitely send you the info then. Have a wonderful trip to see your daughter and granddaughters 🙂

    1. Hi Jill. Yes, there are quite a few of us in some countries although when I was growing up there were only two Jills in my school. I quite like having such a short name now. And, by the way, my father’s name was Jack (my parents expected me to be a boy and they didn’t have a girl’s name handy.)

      1. Hi Jill, my husband knows that when I say I want to go now, it is time to go. If we don’t leave, I become very argumentative and I can argue the ‘wrong’ side of any argument very convincingly. He always complies now, he has learned the error of non-compliance. Smile!

  1. Barbara, thanks for the introduction to an author who admits to hitting “pause” even for a few months when encountering a slump. Recently, my non-fiction slump turned into a few haikus – ha!

      1. Marian…sorry. I meant to write to you, but I put in Barbara’s name by mistake. In any case, thank you, too, Barbara, for the interview.

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