Monday, September 25, 2017

Social Anxiety - Author Interview and Review

If you've been following (😀 ), you'll know how delighted I am that in February  2018 Crooked Cat Books are going to publish my next book.

My fellow "Cat", Miriam Drori, has come along today to tell us about her new book Social Anxiety Revealed. You know, so many of us suffer from social anxiety and perhaps aren't quite aware of it. Let Miriam tell us all about it. (My review of the book follows at the end).

Welcome Miriam!

Hello, Sue, and thank you so much for having me on your delightful blog.

Congratulations on the publication of your new book, Miriam. What, to you, is Social Anxiety?

There are several definitions out there. I like to define it as a fear of people, especially of what those people think of “the sufferer.” People who have social anxiety are particularly afraid of rejection and negative judgement by others. They also suffer from low self-esteem.

Why did you write the book?

     Social anxiety is very common yet little known. If someone who doesn’t know about it encounters someone with it, they’re likely to draw the wrong conclusions about them. For instance, they might think the person is lazy or standoffish. They might think that person doesn’t want to talk when, in reality, they want to talk but feel unable to.

Not all sufferers of social anxiety are aware of the name or even that the condition exists. This means that they feel alone with their problems when they don’t have to. It also means that they don’t have access to advice or therapy.

These are some of the reasons why I wrote the book. I believe social anxiety should be much better known and understood.


I think Social Anxiety Revealed is a book that should appeal to everyone, regardless of whether they have symptoms. Do you agree?

Oh, yes! It’s not a self-help book, although there are some tips in it. It’s intended for those who have it and those who don’t. Nearly everyone will know someone who displays symptoms of social anxiety. The book will help those people to understand and possibly offer guidance.

I think teachers, in particular, ought to know about the condition. Social anxiety usually appears in adolescence and that’s the best time to deal with it – before the behaviours it causes become ingrained.

There are so many myths surrounding the condition. Can you bust at least one of them?

Here’s one that shocked me when I first heard it. We were talking about a guy who was very quiet and who showed signs of fear when he did talk. She said (not knowing anything about me), “You don’t have to worry about him; he chose to be like that.”

I couldn’t believe it. Why would anyone choose to have anxiety? Why would anyone choose to have such a debilitating condition – one that makes it so hard to find a job, to have friends and relationships, to have a good time?

But that’s what she believed, and I’m sure she wasn’t alone in that.

Since then, this is one of the messages I’ve tried to emphasise. I even created a picture with the slogan

Tell us about other books that you’ve written.

Neither Here Nor There is a romance set in Jerusalem. The hero is a new immigrant from Britain, a little shy and still trying to find his way in a new country. The heroine grew up in an ultra-orthodox community. Normally the two wouldn’t have met, but she has just decided to leave her family and everyone she has known up to now. She has no idea how hard this will be for her.

The Women Friends: Selina is a joint venture with Emma Rose Millar. It’s based on Gustav Klimt’s masterpiece: The Women Friends, and is the first of a series of novellas, each of which follows the life of one of Klimt’s models.

Tell us something about yourself. You live in Israel, don’t you? How long have you lived there?

I was born and raised in London. School life, for me, was not good, because I was bullied throughout and that’s what led to my contracting social anxiety. That’s not why I left the UK, but it’s one of the reasons why I’m glad I left, although I love to go back for visits.

I’ve lived in Israel for over forty years, most of them in Jerusalem. I’m married with three grown-up children and previously worked in IT – first as a programmer and later as a technical writer.

I discovered the term social anxiety fifteen years ago, via a friend from school (I can call her a friend now) after we got back in contact via email. For thirty-five years before that, I suffered from it but didn’t know the term. I hope my book will help to prevent that happening to others.

Click to buy from Amazon

My review of Social Anxiety Revealed:

There is just so much in this book that rings true for me and I found myself announcing, "that's exactly right!" as I read. It's amazing how little is really known about the condition and just how many myths surround it. Social Anxiety Revealed not only explains what it is but also gives extremely helpful tips on how to overcome the symptoms. Professionals and sufferers alike will find much of interest in this well-written, no-nonsense book which I thoroughly recommend for everyone--even for those who don't have the condition because it'll help them understand those that do.

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