Debut women’s fiction author, Linda Rosen, joins the blog this week to discuss her novel, The Disharmony of Silence. Welcome, Linda!
Author: Linda Rosen
Title: The Disharmony of Silence
Genre: Upmarket Women’s Fiction
Release date: Out now
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Could you briefly describe your book in just a couple of sentences?
How about five words? I hope they spark your interest: A rare cameo brooch, A painting nobody wants, Family secrets and lies, A shocking reveal from genealogy, and Is there ever a good reason to lie?
Well done! What sparked the idea for The Disharmony of Silence?
The inspiration for The Disharmony of Silence came from a chat I had with my sister-in-law and a dear friend while sitting on the beach in Hilton Head Island. My sister-in-law was preparing to sell her mother’s home and she didn’t know what to do with the painting that had hung in the living room practically her entire life. There wasn’t an empty wall in her own home to hang it and no one else in the family wanted it. Tossing the portrait or selling it to some unknown person wasn’t an option, so she decided to return it to the artist… Ah ha! I thought. What a great storyline. And Disharmony was born!
How long did it take for you to write the book? Any research?
In total, it took ten years from writing the first word to publication, though the manuscript slept on my laptop for a while. Once I sat myself down and got serious, it took three years to complete. Yes, I did do some research on genealogy and diabetes. It was also fun looking up styles from the 1920s to include.
What drew you to the women’s fiction genre?
Honestly, when I started writing I had not heard of the genre. I knew the types of books I enjoyed and that’s what I wanted to write. I believe it was when I started querying agents (to be honest, way before I should have), that I learned of the term women’s fiction and then the term upmarket fiction, which is another way of saying book club fiction. I enjoy novels with a female protagonist who grows, in some way, during the story. And I love a book that leads to discussion, has the reader digging into the characters and themes. Therefore, I write upmarket women’s fiction!
For you, what’s the hardest thing about writing?
Knowing when the story is done. By that, I mean accepting that I’ve done my absolute best and there is not one more thing for me to tweak or polish, not a word, a simile, or an entire sentence – and then finally write The End with a smile on my face.
What do you love most about it?
I love rewriting. I know that sounds strange to many writers, though I’d rather rewrite than pour the words into a first draft. That’s where I feel the most creative.
If you were speaking to someone who hasn’t read your writing before, why should they want to read The Disharmony of Silence?
Good question! If you love long-held family secrets, this is a book for you. And the ending is not tied up in a pretty bow which makes this novel perfect for book club discussion.
How does your day job inform your novel writing?
For the past thirty-eight, until Covid 19 hit, I’d been a fitness professional teaching group exercise and working with private clients. My experiences show up in the novel in several ways. Carolyn, the protagonist, is also a fitness professional which plays a large part in her determination to reveal the secret. I also have a few scenes with Carolyn and her clients where readers can actually learn new exercises. My favorite is in chapter three where I use the exercises as a metaphor for what’s going on in Carolyn’s life. And maybe you’ll sing along to the songs she uses. In addition, I’ve always been in awe of my older clients and created two characters to show that elderly doesn’t always mean frail. I hope you’ll adore Kate and Nan, as I do, and find them an inspiration.
What are your interests outside of writing and reading?
I love swimming with the sun shining down on me as I slice through the water. I’m very happy on a tennis court and pickleball court, even when I miss a shot. And strolling through botanical gardens, or digging in my own garden, is a true pleasure.
Are you working on a new project?
Thank you for asking. My second book, Sisters of the Vine, will be out in March 2021. Here’s a sneak preview: Eight Hundred Grapes meets A League of Their Own. The story of a woman’s determination to keep the land she loves and the sisterhood that’s formed around her on a hillside vineyard in the 1960s and ’70s. And yes, there’s wine!
Where can readers find you?
The best way to keep up with me and find out about upcoming events, or link to past ones, is to follow me on:
Thank you, Linda! The Disharmony of Silence is OUT NOW.
In her desperate quest for family, Carolyn Lee, fitness professional 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.
Linda Rosen’s books are set in the “not-too-distant past” and examine how women reinvent themselves despite obstacles thrown their way. A central theme is that blood is not all that makes a family–and they always feature a piece of jewelry! Her debut novel, The Disharmony of Silence, released in March 2020 from Black Rose Writing. Linda 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 online magazines and print anthologies. She is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association and the Women’s National Book Association, where she is National Recording Secretary and Selections Coordinator of the Great Group Reads committee, which chooses books for National Reading Group Month. Her second novel, Sisters of the Vine, releases in March 2021.