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Photo: © Fred Stein
"Stories are what take us away from traffic jams and ketchup stains and allergies and all the other mundane or unpleasant life events that we go through. Stories inspire us to be better."–Tammar SteinTammar Stein has lived in Israel, Europe, and the United States. Light Years is her first novel.I’ve always loved stories. Fairy tales, adventures, tragedies, heroes and villains, stories are what take us away from traffic jams and ketchup stains and allergies and all the other mundane or unpleasant life events that we go through. Stories inspire us to be better. They lift us away from our problems. And if they’re really good, they help us see the world through someone else’s eyes. That’s the best part for me. Because I always wonder about other people, about their life, about their feelings. What’s it like to grow up in Pakistan? What’s it like to be an orphan, or a prisoner of war, or an insane genius? Reading a good book lets you inside the head of this stranger that you have nothing in common with. You live together and get to know each other. You laugh with them or maybe cry for them and it can open your eyes to things you never noticed before.Reading is one my favorite things to do. Unfortunately, it’s kind of tough to make a career just from reading. Being a writer is the next best thing. I get to stay in my pajamas until noon and I get to play with imaginary friends all day long and even talk about them with other people–all without being considered certifiably insane. That’s a pretty sweet deal. But writing isn’t easy. There are days when my imaginary friends don’t come. Then I’m stuck there, alone in front of a blank screen with the curser just blinking, waiting for me to write something down. But on the days when they do decide to visit, and the writing flows, it all comes together. I’m transported away from sitting in a chair, in an office, in a house, to a place that exists only in my imagination. And if I’m lucky, when I’m done, other people who read my book could go there too.
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