A Phantasmagoric Trip

The first time Squash Magazine met Ivy Pochoda in person, it was to interview her and take photos after she had won the Intercollegiate Singles Championship in 1998. We connected at Brown University in Providence (RI) as she hopped off a motorcycle (she was the passenger), peeled off her riding duds and was instantly transformed into Harvard University squash star that she was—with her crimson skirted uniform.

We left that interview with the distinct impression that Pochoda was part rebel, part Ivy League, and part artiste. She had and air of confident articulation that drew you in. So it’s not surprise that 13 years later, she has released the first commercial results of her writing passion—The Art of Disappearing.

In the press release from St. Martin’s Press, Elle Magazine says: “Ivy Pochoda’s beguiling debut novel is a terrific page-turner about a stage magician and a traveling textile designer who meet in Vegas and marry two days later, and all the mystery and mayhem that ensues.” The Booklist says: “…it is a phantasmogoric exploration of the ever-shifting line between destiny and coincidence.”

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 10.54.25 AMSuffice to say, The Art of Disappearing has received wonderfully positive reviews. And Pochoda herself is happy with her first work.

“It’s going really well,” said Pochoda when asked how the book life was going. “It’s picking up steam and though it’s hard to launch new hardback fiction, it’s selling.”

When asked how much of the novel related to her own life, Pochoda said, “Well, the main characters moved to Amsterdam (where she lived for a few years), so that’s pretty much related; just how the female protagonist (the narrator) explores the city. So a lot of that is my own personal experience. But he’s a magician so none of that is my own personal experience.”

Pochoda grew up in Brooklyn spending endless hours in her local book store, The Book Court on Court street. She had always fantasized about seeing her own book in the window, and as the five-year writing process unfolded, she would think about that during difficult stretches.

But the day she was going to be doing a reading at The Book Court, it wasn’t in the window. “I ran into the owner at a sandwich place in Brooklyn and told him my book wasn’t in the window. He was so embarrassed because I had written about seeing my own book there some day in my blog. And then they put it in the window and I was really excited,” recalls Pochoda laughing. “It was in the window of Barnes & Noble on Broadway (in Manhattan), and not in The Book Court. Turns out they took it out of the window to promote the reading and just forgot to put it back in.”

Since the novel’s release, Pochoda has relocated to Los Angeles where she is working on a collection of short stories set in the Brooklyn neighborhood she was living in before moving to L.A., and she’s starting her next novel.

While doing book tours on the East Coast, Pochoda has been struck by humorous questions of readers who wanted to know if she was marrying a magician and how many magicians she’d met who can actually do magic. “It’s really bizarre,” Pochoda says with a laugh. “As if I couldn’t have an imagination.”

The Art of Disappearing is available online at amazon.com and book stores everywhere. Check it out. Pochoda’s creative talents will take you on a wonderful journey into her creative magical world