About Felice Cohen:
Felice Cohen, the grandchild of two Holocaust survivors, is the author of the award-winning book “What Papa Told Me,” a memoir about her grandfather’s life before, during and after the war. The book has been endorsed by Elie Wiesel and Yad Vashem, translated into Polish, won three honorable mention book awards, and has sold 30,000 copies around the world. Aside from having spoken to thousands about her grandfather, she is featured in two documentaries focusing on grandchildren of survivors. Her newest book, “90 Lessons for Living Large in 90 Square Feet (…or more),” is based on the YouTube video of her 90-square-foot Manhattan studio that went viral with millions of views on YouTube.com, gaining media attention across the globe. Felice has been featured on Good Morning America, NBC, CBS, Fox5, Sirius, NPR, Time, Forbes, Globe & Mail, New York Daily News, Cape Cod Times and the Daily Mail to name a few. She is also featured in a documentary on tiny living. Felice writes the blog “Living Large in Any Space” and has written for the New York Daily News, amNew York, Metro and others. What enabled Felice to “live large” in that tiny studio is that she has been a professional organizer for over 20 years.
What inspires you to write?
Experiences. Family. My first book “What Papa Told Me” was about my maternal grandfather, a Holocaust survivor and about his life before, during and after the war. I wrote the book because he asked me to. Took 18 years, off and on. Wrote it as a gift to him. Who knew it would sell almost 30,000 copies! Second book is about my experience living in a 90-square-foot NYC studio and how living small made my life larger.
Tell us about your writing process.
Make a chai latte and sit with a pad of paper and a fast-writing pen. Or my laptop. And i just go, not stopping to edit or correct spelling. And if I go off-tangent, so be it. The first draft is a flow. I may only keep one sentence, but it’s a start and the start is the most important part. Once I have the kernel, I’m ready (and motivated!) to keep going. I also edit over and over and over. I like to edit on paper with a red pen. Red means progress.
What advice would you give other writers?
Stick with it. Writing is a solitary process and sometimes you may think “Who will like this?” “What if no one does?” But that’s not why you write. You write because you have to, you want to tell a story or express yourself. Stick with it. One rejection, two rejections, 47, whatever. Believe in yourself. My grandfather’s book was rejected by publishers so I published it myself. I’ve sold almost 30,000 copies. Write a good story, get a good editor and readers will respond.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
After a few rejections from publishers, my grandfather was almost 90 and wanted to see the book completed. Around the same time, self-publishing was more mainstream and easier to do. So I did it. Turned out to be the best decision. Sold books around the world, but I made my grandfather very happy. CreateSpace is easy to use, not expensive and they have a seamless tie in with Amazon. It’s work to market yourself, but find the right niche and stick with it. You never really stop marketing.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Mainstream publishing can’t publish every book. I think self-publishing will continue to be a great outlet. With the advent of e-books, more people have access to more books and if more people are reading, how great is that?
What do you use?: Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: Memoir, self-help, illustrated fairy tales
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.