Monday, March 16, 2020

Interview with women's fiction writer Linda Rosen

Welcome to Monday, readers. My special guest today is Linda Rosen. She’s chatting with me about her women’s fiction, The Disharmony of Silence.

Linda Rosen, fitness professional turned writer, lives with her husband splitting their time between New Jersey and Florida. She was a contributor to Women in the Literary Landscape: A WNBA Centennial Publication for the Women's National Book Association and has had stories published in Foliate Oak and Crack the Spine, both in their online magazine and print anthology.

Welcome, Linda. Please tell us about your current release.
In her desperate quest for family, Carolyn Lee, fitness trainer and amateur photographer, is determined, against all advice, to reveal a shocking eighty-four-year-old secret that she has uncovered. It has the potential to tear lives apart, or to bring her the closeness and comfort she longs for. It all depends on how she handles it.

What inspired you to write this book?
I love talking about the inspiration for this novel. It brings back wonderful memories. In 2009, I was sitting on a beach in Hilton Head Island with my sister-in-law and another friend. Roni, my sister-in-law, whose middle name is Carolyn (hence my protagonist’s name) was relating the story of what happened when she was preparing to sell her mother’s home, the home where Roni had grown up. There was a painting that had hung on the living room wall practically her entire life and though Roni didn’t have an empty spot to hang it in her own home, and no one else in the family wanted it, tossing the portrait or selling it in an estate sale was not an option. Roni came up with an idea and Googled the artist, found her living in San Francisco and decided to return the painting to her. Hearing that, I turned to my friend, Ingrid, who was relaxing on a sand chair next to me. We locked eyes. Mine were wide-open. Ingrid said, “What a great idea for a story.” I nodded and my mind took off in all sorts of directions. And, Disharmony was born!

Excerpt from The Disharmony of Silence:
An hour later with skirts, dresses, shoes, and bags stuffed in boxes, I walked into the living room. My heart ached looking at the painting of the Victorian lady in the peach dress hanging over the fireplace. What was I going to do with her? I loved that portrait, but there was nowhere to hang it in my condo. She wouldn’t fit with the black-and-white photographs that filled the walls, some taken by me, some by Stan. Yet I couldn’t leave her. The lady in the dining room arranging fruit in a cut-crystal bowl was part of the family. It would be like disowning my sister, or maybe my grandmother. When I was a young girl I used to confide in her, even cry to her, as I would have if I’d had a warm, cuddly grandma. I remembered the time in high school when the boy I’d hoped would ask me to the senior prom invited my best friend. Home alone, I sat on the living room floor crying my eyes out, looking up at her as if she could hear me. And when I was younger, I’d complained to her whenever Dad made me practice piano. I sat on the bench in front of the piano telling her how much I hated playing “Für Elise,” as if she was able to do something about it.

I stood in front of the fireplace looking up at my lady. Just like Mom’s cameo, her expression was serene. She seemed so tranquil with the sunlight streaming through the window behind her. And then my mouth fell open. Pinned to the top of her ecru bodice was a cameo brooch. I stepped closer for a better look. With her up on the wall, I couldn’t see the small details clearly.

I ran into the kitchen, grabbed the step ladder from the pantry closet, and dragged it to the fireplace. Never a fan of heights, I took a deep breath, climbed up, and lifted the large rectangular frame off its hooks. It was heavier than I thought, and I held tight to it as I made my way back down.

I placed the painting on the floor and knelt down for a closer look. I was right. The cameos were exactly the same, even the little silver flower behind her ear. How come I’d never noticed that before? Why would I, though? She’s hung on the wall all my life. I guess I took her for granted. Besides, until yesterday, I hadn’t thought about the cameo since probably my sixteenth birthday. Mom rarely wore it. So who was this woman and who was the artist and why did she have the same exact brooch as my mother? If I’d seen it all over the internet, I wouldn’t have been so shocked, but this was the only image with the silver flower holding back a strand of hair.

What exciting story are you working on next?
Presently, I am writing a novel set on a hillside vineyard in the Hudson River Valley in the 1960s. It is upmarket women’s fiction, populated by a sisterhood of women, each who grows in her own way, as they break into the all-male fraternity of wine makers. I’m having a great time developing the characters, both male and female, with all their strengths and weaknesses, conflicts and struggles plus, I’m learning how to make wine!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In writers workshops I was told to call myself a writer, even though I hadn’t been published yet. I had written fitness articles for magazines and on-line sites, which gave me a by-line, and I was blogging as The Literary Leotard on, though it wasn’t until I had my first short story, Through the Peephole, published that I actually embraced the word writer, felt it in my skin. Through the Peephole can be found on my website along with other short pieces I’ve had published.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I don’t write full-time, though I do try to write something every day, even if it’s just for an hour. My mornings are filled with either playing tennis or pickleball or teaching fitness classes. After that, I find my creative side kicks in and I write in the early afternoons, sometimes for several hours. There are times, though, that I take a morning off from physical activities and sit at my lap top writing, especially when my characters have been talking to me all night and I have to get them on the page. And, once in a while, if the house is quiet, I might skip dinner and get to my computer. So you see, I write whenever I can fit it in, or when my characters are nagging at me. I don’t feel satisfied unless I’ve written something each day.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have lots of papers and books on my desk and they must be in neat piles before I can start writing. Otherwise, I’m not really a neat freak.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A fashion coordinator. Honestly, I’m not even sure what that is but as a young girl I thought it sounded fabulous. And, for a little while, I wanted to be Nancy Drew, not the author of the series Carolyn Keene, but the character.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Yes. I have challenged myself to meet with 100 book clubs, either in person or by Skype. I’ve found it fascinating when authors have come to my book clubs and talked about their journey writing the novel, their characters and settings, research, etc. I’d love to meet with my readers. We can even do the exercises Carolyn leads in chapter 3 and play the songs she uses. Contact me via my website.


The e-book is also available on Amazon Kindle, BN Nook, Kobo, Apple iBooks, 24symbols, Page Foundry, Scribd, Overdrive, Bibliotheca, and Tolino.

Thanks for being a guest today.

--- Blog Tour Dates
March 2nd @ The Muffin
What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Grab your coffee and join us as we celebrate the launch of Linda's blog tour The Disharmony of Silence. Read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book too!

March 4th @ A Writer's Life
How much does setting matter in a novel? Author Linda Rosen talks about this very subject over at Caroline's blog today. You can also enter to win a copy of her book The Disharmony of Silence.

March 6th @ 12 Books
Make sure you visit Louise's blog and read her review of Linda Rosen's book The Disharmony of Silence. You can also enter to win a copy of the book as well!

March 7th @ Lori Duff Writes
Be sure to stop by Lori's blog today and you can read her review of Linda Rosen's book The Disharmony of Silence.

March 8th @ Bring on Lemons
Visit Crystal's blog today and you can read a review written by her daughter Carmen about Linda Rosen's book The Disharmony of Silence. Don't miss it!

March 10th @ Author Anthony Avina's Blog
Make sure you visit Anthony's blog today where you can read his interview with author Linda Rosen.

March 11th @ A Storybook World
Blogger Deirdra Eden spotlights Linda Rosen's book The Disharmony of Silence.

March 13th @ Lori's Reading Corner
Stop by Lori's blog today and you can read a fitness inspiring post by author Linda Rosen! She shares some tips about strength training while reading audiobooks. You can also enter to win a copy of Linda's book The Disharmony of Silence.

March 14th @ Boots, Shoes and Fashion
Stop by Linda's blog today and you can read her interview with author Linda Rosen. Don't miss it!

March 15th @ Choices
Make sure you stop by Madeline Sharples' blog today and read Linda Rosen's blog post about inspiring your creative self by getting outdoors. Don't miss it!

March 16th @ Reviews and Interviews
Visit Lisa's blog where she interviews author Linda Rosen about her book The Disharmony of Silence.

March 17th @ Coffee with Lacey
Grab some coffee and join Lacey over at her blog today. She reviews Linda Rosen's book The Disharmony of Silence.

March 18th @ Author Anthony Avina's Blog
Visit Anthony's blog again today and read his review of Linda Rosen's book The Disharmony of Silence. Don't miss it!

March 19th @ AJ Sefton's Blog
Make sure you visit author AJ Sefton's blog today and read a review of Linda Rosen's book The Disharmony of Silence.

March 20th @ Beverley A. Baird's Blog
Looking for a new book to add to your reading list? Make sure you visit Bev's blog today and read her review of "The Disharmony of Silence." You'll want to add it to your list!

March 21st @ Bookworm Blog
Visit Anjanette's blog today and you can read her review of Linda Rosen's book The Disharmony of Silence.

March 22nd @ 12 Books
Are you part of a book club? Author Linda Rosen shares fun activities you can do for your book club. Don't miss this fun, inspiring post!

March 23rd @ Cassandra's Writing World
Make sure you visit Cassandra's blog today and read her review of Linda Rosen's book The Disharmony of Silence.

March 25th @ Beverley A. Baird's Blog
What do you do if you are writing about a made-up setting? Make sure you visit Bev's blog today and you can read Linda Rosen's guest post where she shares her advice.

March 26th @ Lady in Read Writes
Stop by Vidya's blog today and you can read her review of Linda Rosen's book The Disharmony of Silence.

March 27th @ Jessica Belmont's Blog
Over at Jessica's blog today, you won't want to miss her review of Linda Rosen's book The Disharmony of Silence. You can also enter to win a copy of the book as well!

March 28th @ Bookworm Blog
Stop by Anjanette's blog again today and you can read her interview with author Linda Rosen.

March 30th @ It's Alanna Jean
What does your writing space look like? Author Linda Rosen shares her tips for setting up your writing space over at Alanna Jean's blog. 

April 3rd @ Joyful Antidotes
Make sure you stop by Joy's blog today where she reviews Linda Rosen's book The Disharmony of Silence.

April 5th @ Teatime and Books
How much do you love revising? Does it spark joy? Linda Rosen shares her thoughts on the joy of revising over at the blog Tea Time and Books. 


Linda Rosen said...

Thanks for the opportunity to talk about my novel. You made me think of Nancy Drew and it brought back fond memories of reading as a young girl.

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