Author Stories Podcast Episode 1164 | Jean Meltzer Interview
Today’s author interview guest is Jean Meltzer, author of The Matzah Ball.
“The Matzah Ball had me laughing out loud…an all-around terrific read.”—Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Oy! to the world
Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is a nice Jewish girl with a shameful secret: she loves Christmas. For a decade she’s hidden her career as a Christmas romance novelist from her family. Her talent has made her a bestseller even as her chronic illness has always kept the kind of love she writes about out of reach.
But when her diversity-conscious publisher insists she write a Hanukkah romance, her well of inspiration suddenly runs dry. Hanukkah’s not magical. It’s not merry. It’s not Christmas. Desperate not to lose her contract, Rachel’s determined to find her muse at the Matzah Ball, a Jewish music celebration on the last night of Hanukkah, even if it means working with her summer camp archenemy—Jacob Greenberg.
Though Rachel and Jacob haven’t seen each other since they were kids, their grudge still glows brighter than a menorah. But as they spend more time together, Rachel finds herself drawn to Hanukkah—and Jacob—in a way she never expected. Maybe this holiday of lights will be the spark she needed to set her heart ablaze.
“A luminous celebration of all types of love, threaded with the message that everyone is worthy of it.”—Rachel Lynn Solomon, author of The Ex Talk
JEAN MELTZER has the unique distinction of being the world’s only Emmy-award winning, chronically-ill and disabled, rabbinical-school drop-out. Yet, it is this extraordinary background — coupled with a firm belief in holding onto your joy and seeking out happy endings — which forms the basis of her diverse work.
Jean received her BFA from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, Department of Dramatic Writing in 2002. After graduation, she served as Creative Director of Tapestry International, an Oscar-winning television and film production company, where she oversaw the writing, development and production for over 250-hours of children’s television, and won numerous awards for her work. In 2006, Jean moved to Israel to pursue a career in the rabbinate, and studied at several colleges and seminaries for five years. She also became an outspoken advocate for the disease, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). In 2012, Jean ended her rabbinical studies and spent the next two years homebound due to this disease.
Today, Jean lives a thriving, chronically-fabulous, Jewish life in Virginia. She sees her challenges as part of a larger journey and is eager to share her stories with others. Her first book, The Matzah Ball, will be published by Mira in 2021. She is represented by Carolyn Forde and Marilyn Biderman at Transatlantic Agency.