Name: Stefani Goerlich, LMSW-Clinical, LISW, CST
What you Write: Non-fiction books about human sexuality and mental health, usually focused on gender, sexuality, and relationship minorities.
Agent: Jessica Alvarez
Why BookEnds? I appreciated the collaborative, mutually supportive, working culture of BookEnds.
What book do you wish you had written, and why?
I wish I had the talent for writing fiction, because I desperately wish I could have written The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern. Her use of language and her ability to build worlds that are somehow both completely fantastical and utterly realistic at the same time captivates me and makes me more than a little bit jealous. Morgenstern doesn’t just write captivating fiction, she write beautiful literature. I wish I had half her talent.
If you’re not reading or writing, what would we catch you doing?
I really love cross stitch- but snarky, inappropriate patterns that subvert the notion of craft as stodgy or old fashioned. I have collected tarot decks and read tarot for twenty years now, and I’m very active in our family’s synagogue and the Jewish community.
Where can readers find you on the web and social media?
I’m an active Twitter-er, and can be found at @Tzefira_Neviah. I have an Instragram account that I don’t use nearly enough @BoundTogetherCounseling
What’s the last book you read?
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert, a novel about a rebellious young society woman exploring her sexuality and navigating independence during World War Two era New York City.
If money were no object, what would be your dream writing location?
I’d love to have a small writing studio in Jaffa (Israel), overlooking the Mediterranean. There is something captivating about the narrow walkways and out of the way pockets of apartments in Jaffa. It somehow manages to feel like both an ancient seafaring city and a modern Bohemian artists village all at once. I could wander there for hours.
What’s your favorite quote about reading or writing?
Sylvia Plath’s wish “let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences” has always resonated with me.
What’s your favorite piece of writing advice you’ve received?
A friend of mine who does not consider herself to be a writer, and yet who completes the NaNoWriMo challenge every single year gave me the best advice:
Touch the work every day. You might not always write- but always touch. Open it up, delete a comma, rephrase a sentence, or write 1000 words…but touch it every day.
What excites you most about joining the BookEnds family?
I write because I want to help people recognize that they are not alone. That others exist who share their experiences, desire what they desire, and love the way that they feel love. I’m so excited to find a partner at BookEnds who supports me in this world and who understands the power of the written word to change peoples lives.
What advice would you give to other authors in the query trenches?
I’m the worst possible person to ask this of- I have been so fortunate in my writing life that I usually tell them that my advice is to ask someone else.
What was the most important question you asked when interviewing agents?
Talk to me about the culture in your agency- are you collaborative or competitive with one another? Do your peers support your work on behalf of your clients?
How did you know your book was ready to submit?
When, every time I mentioned the project to someone, their reaction was “I have been waiting for a book like this- when can I read it?”