By Yossi Porat
To date, I’ve written 9 books.
- I started out writing marketing books, which are actually instruction manuals based on the knowledge I accumulated throughout my years of work. The books did very well because they’re all simply written, relatable, and present practical ways to understand and execute things, yielding proven results.
- Later I published three poetry collections. To date, I’ve written hundreds of poems, many of them love songs. Many found these poems very moving, probably because there’s a lot of truth in them and because of the long-lasting love I have for Sarah, my wife and companion of the last 47 years. She is my own flesh and blood, a huge part of my body and soul.
- I went on to publish “Screwed Mind”, a thrilling fast-paced suspense novel about a hi-tech company that decides to influence people through their mobile phones. I got the idea when I felt a warm sensation in my neck and head area during prolonged usage of my cellphone. My friends were reporting similar accounts. On the other hand, all the mobile companies firmly deny that the cellphone use can harm our health (the same kind of incidence is illustrated in the new film Kingsman. It seems like they copied the idea from my book!). The book’s English edition is a bestseller and on Dec. 12th, 2104 was at the top of Amazon’s list of recommended spy novels all over the world!
- I recently published a very different novel called “Warm Sunbeams”. It intimately follows the events of the Holocaust and World War II through a remarkable new relationship between a young woman from Kiryat Tivon, Israel (whose grandmother is the only one in her family who survived the Holocaust and started an amazing new family in Israel) and a young German man whose family were Nazis. The novel depicts other peculiar relationships, illustrating the possibility of atoning for one’s harsh past and creating a much better future for the benefit of everyone, especially our children. This can surely apply to relations between nations, peoples, and religions too. I believe it is possible to resolve the conflict between Israel and its neighbors, if all parties truly desire it. It takes time to build desire, and it requires an accurate understanding of the other’s needs and mutual respect among all parties.
- I am proud and thrilled to have co-published a book with my daughter Neta-Lee (Porat-Shoshani), who’s a child psychologist. Together we wrote the special book “Spring Party”. What’s so special about it? Besides pleasing my granddaughters, depicted in the story through our encounters, including conversations, stories, laughs, and light cooking and baking (yes, getting your hands dirty, tasting with our fingertips, making mistakes, and learning from them while keeping a smile on our face), it is also a new concept: A children’s book featuring recipes for light cooking and baking, a shared experience between parents and children and of course between grandparents and grandkids. More precious quality time without TVs or cellphones.
What’s coming soon?
- Another children’s book, the second in the series, with healthy recipes for our children and for our own good health, followed by more books in the series.
- A collection of short stories.
- A new and surprising novel that begins on a flight to New York and mixes together Israelis, Arabs, Europeans, and Americans in international intrigue, sex, intelligence, high-tech, and more.
- And more poems… Not just about love, but also about landscape, nature, sea, and sun.
How does a poem come to life?
All of mine are conceived at night, which is pretty weird, even for me. They take form at night and are constructed while I’m awake or dreaming. In the mornings I remember them vividly and rush to the computer to write them down and get the load off my brain and my memory. Immediately after that the poem is erased and I rarely change anything. I’m sure it’s a very different process for others.
And how does a story come to life?
In my case, there’s a huge difference between a poem and a story. A story is built slowly, over months and years, gradually evolving in my mind. Only when I actually see the characters in front of me, including their exact look, facial expressions, eyes, hands, environment and almost the entire plot, can I write it down. When it comes to short stories, the process takes about a month, sometimes a bit more. After I finish the rough draft of the story I put it aside for a few months and then read it again and make many changes. I do the same with my books, but in that case the process takes many years, after which my editor dares to shower me with instructions, like “remove a character, a scene, an ongoing event, or an issue” in order to focus on the right thing.
I’s important to me that I really like my work, my poems and my books, and feel closely attached to them, probably because each one embodies a big part of me, my family, my relatives and my friends. But more important is the joy of getting a positive review, though that’s not always the case. The review that moved me the most recently was: “Dear Yossi, you are totally responsible for my lack of sleep in the last two days! I couldn’t stop reading! Can’t wait for your next book.”
Who needs more than that?