Arnold Zable

Posted on 12 April 2010. Filed under: Authors | Tags: , , , |

It was at the Second Australian Jewish Genealogy Society (Vic) Conference. I’d signed up as a volunteer even though I’m not overly excited by the thought of researching my family’s genealogy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very important thing to do I’m just not interested in doing the research myself. My OH is on the committee, he’s very dedicated both with his committee activities and with the research into both of our family trees, and I describe myself as a supportive spouse
so I did the supportive part and signed up to help out. There were very few sessions I actually wanted to see, and one of them was Arnold Zable. Seeing as he’s a writer I felt I could see him and then write an article about him for my blog. I wasn’t prepared for the article that would appear when I saw him.

Zable spoke after the Israeli Ambassador, Yuval Rotem. Rotem spoke about wanting to find his family and having to come to Australia to do it. Apparently when he first came here he was interviewed by a young journalist who turned out to be a cousin.

Zable listened to Rotem’s story and said how to write a story such as this you need more than just names you also need incidents and you also need to be able to see the places in your minds eye before you can describe it in words. He used an excerpt from his book Jewels and Ashes as an illustration. It had names, incidents but he also had to do lots of research in order to be able to picture it and to be able to write it so as the reader can also see it.

The part that stood out from Zable’s talk was how he illustrated various parts of writing I’ve been reading about. This article talks about showing the listener a part of the book and not just telling them to read the book, so Zable gave us the name of the book, what it was about and then read an excerpt, making us want to read it. Other articles I’ve read talk about showing the reader what you want them to see, using language that will enable them to see it without ramming it down their throat and Zabel’s extract did exactly that. It showed us the scene and didn’t ram it down our throats, it was very gentle but very evocative. He constantly mentioned the names of his books, something else I’ve read about. I can’t find the article at present, but it spoke about the need to tell people the names of your books by casually presenting them within the context of what you’re talking about and this is something he did.

Basically, I felt his talk could be used as a template in how to present to the public and make them want to read your works. There were numerous other examples of what he did right from a publicity angle. Have a look at his website to see more information about him.

And the hard part? How to choose which books to buy, he made them all sound so wonderful. Having them all is really the only option.


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