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Lights, Camera, Words: An Interview with Jeff Ingber, author of Daria’s Secrets

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Jeff Ingber is the author of six books as well as numerous short stories and screenplays, for which he’s won numerous awards. One of his novels, Shattered Lives, was made into a documentary film by MacTavish Productions. He’s had many short stories published in various journals and magazines. You can learn more about his works at

You can buy the book here.
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Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

The second word (Secrets) was easy, as I had it in mind from the start to weave into the plot several secrets both held by the protagonist and kept from her. The first word took me a while. I searched for popular Polish girl names a century ago, then chose “Daria” because it has many interesting meanings in different languages and cultures (it means “pearl of wisdom” in Hebrew). Also, I liked the sound of it.

How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?

My daughter, who’s a graphic designer, created the cover, as she does for all my books. So the cover has extra-special meaning for me. And, although this is my sixth book, it’s still enormously exciting when I first hold a new book in my hands. Each book is my “baby.”

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

Since I was a child, I’ve always loved reading and writing. If I’d been born with a large trust fund, I would have tried to make a career as a writer right after graduating college. Alas, I had to work for decades before retiring from full-time work at 60 and fully indulging in my passion.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I’ve been in the financial industry in the NYC area for my entire career—first as a lawyer and then as a compliance specialist. I still work part-time, mostly remotely. Aside from writing novels and short stories, I also write screenplays. My first was the basis for the 2019 film Crypto starring Kurt Russell and Alexis Bledel. Watching that film being made was a pretty cool experience.

What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?

As always, it was receiving kudos and positive reviews from family, friends, other readers, and book club members. Being told that something I wrote deeply moved a reader is a great thrill.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

Hmmm. Perhaps If You Could Read My Mind by Gordon Lightfoot. Or My Yiddishe Mama?

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

There are several themes that I tried to explore in the book. One is the importance of perseverance and hope. We all have our crosses to bear. As Rose Kennedy said, “I’ve always believed that God never gives us a cross to bear larger than we can carry.” I’m not sure I quite agree with that sentiment, but it’s a useful one to keep in mind nonetheless.

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

I’m currently writing a fiction novel about the rise, fall, and resurrection of a CDO trader during the Financial Crisis. It’s inspired by and loosely based on people and events I witnessed when I worked at Citibank during the mid to late 2000s.

How was working with Atmosphere Press? What would you tell other writers who want to publish?

Working with Atmosphere Press was a consistent pleasure. The staff is consistently knowledgeable, savvy, kind, and encouraging.

You can buy the book here.
Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

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