Blog

Writing Fiction Based on Family History


My novel, When It’s Over, set in Europe during WWII, is based on a true story: the story of my mother’s experience as a refugee from the Holocaust. She was a young woman, an anti-fascist activist from a secular Jewish family, when she fled Czechoslovakia and then Paris, and spent the war years in the…

“A Novel Idea” Interview


Feb 4 A Novel Idea Interview My interview on Suzanne Lang's wonderful program on KRCB - the NPR affiliate for the North Bay - was originally scheduled for early in the morning of Oct 9. That was the day the Santa Rosa area burst into flames in one of the worst wildfires in California history,…

“When It’s Over” featured in Jewish News


New Books - Jewish News of Northern California Barbara Ridley knew that her mother’s life story was compelling: She’d fled Czechoslovakia before the Nazi invasion, leaving her family and her Judaism behind, and ultimately ended up in England. While Ridley had recorded her mother’s oral history, she realized after her death in 2002 that “there…

A New Year


So, it’s Happy New Year and all that jazz. New resolutions to eat better, exercise more, live with more gratitude, hug those I love. The usual stuff. But for me, 2018 is also the first New Year I can call myself a published author. I still have to pinch myself to really believe that it’s…

Author “Meet and Greet”


Initially, I was disappointed that the Barnes and Noble in my sister-in-law's hometown didn’t offer me a traditional author “book reading” gig. They “didn’t have the space” they claimed, which seemed ridiculous. I’ve attended many author readings—and had my own author events—in much smaller bookstores, where the staff cheerfully maneuver bookshelves on wheels to clear…

A Refugee Coffee Shop


At first glance, it looks like any other Berkeley coffee shop: bags of gourmet beans displayed on racks, croissants and scones in a glass case, rows of young people engrossed in their laptops, the soft hum of conversation, and behind the counter the baristas at work at the espresso machines.           But this is no…