Marilyn Simon Rothstein joins the Author Spotlight to chat about her latest novel, Crazy to Leave You

Author Name: Marilyn Simon Rothstein

Book Title: Crazy to Leave You

Book Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release Date: May 24, 2022

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Welcome, Marilyn! How would you describe Crazy to Leave You?

Forty-one years old and down to a size 12, Lauren Leo is in her gown and about to tie the knot. There’s just one thing missing: the groom. With one blindsiding text, Lauren is unceremoniously dumped at the altar. In the aftermath her mother is a well of unsolicited advice (Stay on your diet and freeze your eggs). Her sisters only add to the Great Humiliation. Picking her heart up off the floor, Lauren turns to her work in advertising as she gathers courage to move on. What lies ahead is the road to self-acceptance and at long last feeling worthy.With a new way to measure love and success, Lauren chucks her scale―and finds a second chance in the most unexpected place.

What sparked the idea for this book? Did you do research?

I guess you could say I spent decades of my life researching this book about a scale-obsessed New York advertising executive in the world’s most dysfunctional Jewish family–not including my own, of course.

Yes, I looked deep into my refrigerator, found the Dr. Brown’s Diet Cream soda, and invented the Lauren Leo, a 41-year-old success story left at the altar by a man she first kissed back of Bunk 8 when she was thirteen at a sleepaway camp named after a rabbi. Why Bunk 8? All of the other bunks were taken.

My discovery of Lauren Leo was followed by her body-shaming size four mother (a woman who shops in a store called Four), in-laws more irritating than vaginitis, a best friend who presents a vibrator as a something-blue wedding gift, a younger sister—a teacher and mother so perfect she demands to be disliked–and an elder sister, Margo Lamour–parked on Lauren’s couch. Add an old-fashioned boss who never saw a skirt he thought was too short. A bathroom scale that finds its way under water. And at last, a hot limo driver named Rudy Cohen.

Do you have a favorite chapter or scene in Crazy to Leave You?

One of my favorite scenes in Crazy to Leave You has FBI agents in it, but if I give away anymore, I’ll have to go into witness protection.

Do you have a favorite character?

My favorite character in Crazy to Leave You is Lauren Leo’s elder sister, Margo Lamour, a flamboyant fading soap opera star with a weight problem who parks herself on Lauren’s couch after Lauren is left at the altar. P.S. Margo did not attend the wedding, which Lauren refers to as The Great Humiliation.

Is anything in your book based on real-life experiences?

Yes, but I will never admit it.

Finish this sentence: “I can’t write without…”

Beating myself up first.

Any words of wisdom you give to a new writer?

Join a writer’s workshop. Keep writing, and never give up.

What are your interests outside of reading and writing?

I enjoy being with my family. I like big gatherings around the round table in my kitchen. Hours in, someone says “Shouldn’t we get up and go for a walk?” But we never do.

If I had to spend a week on a deserted island, I would need…

The Sunday New York Times, coffee, a bagel–and a boat to get back to the mainland.

What is something about you that would surprise people?

I became a published author at 63 years of age.

What did you do for a living before becoming an author?

I owned an advertising agency in Connecticut for twenty-five years. My largest client was a sophisticated upscale clothing store for men and women, reminiscent of Brooks Brothers and I can tell you anything you would like to know about a made-to-order suit.

Where do you get your ideas?

I find quite a few in my head.

How long did it take for you to write the book?

I wrote Crazy to Leave You in two years during the Covid pandemic–with eleven family members and five cats living in my house in Connecticut.

What about the writing/editing/publishing process has been the most surprising to you so far?

Without a doubt, the kindness, generosity, and support of writers I have met on my journey.

If you had to do it all over, is there any aspect of getting published that you’d change?

I would have been more daring in my approach to being published. For example, I might have parachuted into an agent’s office.

Thank you, Marilyn! Crazy to Leave You is available NOW.

From the author of Husbands and Other Sharp Objects comes a witty, bighearted novel about the happy accidents that lead to love and second chances.

Forty-one years old, the last of her friends to marry, and down to a size 12, Lauren Leo is in her gown and about to tie the knot. There’s just one thing missing: the groom. With one blindsiding text, Lauren is unceremoniously dumped at the altar.

In the aftermath, her mother is an endless well of unsolicited advice (Stay on your diet and freeze your eggs). Her sisters only add to the Great Humiliation: one is planted on Lauren’s couch while the other is too perfect.

Picking her heart up off the floor, Lauren turns to her work in advertising as she gathers courage to move on and plan her next step. She should know by now that nothing in life goes according to plan. What lies ahead is the road to self-acceptance and at long last feeling worthy. With a new way to measure love and success, Lauren chucks her scale—and finds a second chance in the most unexpected place.

Author Bio:

Marilyn Simon Rothstein is the author of Crazy to Leave You, Husbands and Other Sharp Objects, and Lift and Separate. Marilyn grew up in New York City, earned a degree in journalism from New York University, began her writing career at Seventeen magazine, married a man she met in an elevator, and owned an advertising agency for more than twenty-five years.

www.marilynsimonrothstein.com

Crazy to Leave You

Husbands and Other Sharp Objects

Lift and Separate

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