Linda Rosen’s Bio
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, and her sophomore novel, Sisters of the Vine, one year later 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 Selections Coordinator of the Great Group Reads committee which curates a list, published annually, of novels and memoirs perfect for book clubs.
Linda lives with her husband in New Jersey, but when the leaves fall and she has to swap sandals for shoes and socks they move to their home in Florida.
Interview with Linda Rosen
What inspired you to write your two novels?
My novels have come from very different nuggets of inspiration. The Disharmony of Silence, my debut novel, sprang from a conversation I had with my sister-in-law on the beach on Hilton Head Island. She had been cleaning out her mother’s home, getting it ready for sale when she realized she didn’t want to sell the painting that had hung over the fireplace her entire life. She didn’t have a place for it in her own home and no one else in the family wanted it either. Yet she couldn’t bring herself to get rid of it. So, she Googled the artist, found her living in San Francisco, and offered to return the portrait to her. As I sat on my sand chair listening to this story, I thought – Wow! That’s a great premise for a novel. At the time, I’d only written flash fiction and never imagined I’d actually write a novel, no less have it published. But I took that nugget and my fingers flew across the keyboard and The Disharmony of Silence was born.
The inspiration for my second novel, Sisters of the Vine, also came from a conversation. This time it was in SoHo in New York City. I was sitting at a restaurant catching up with an old friend who I hadn’t seen in forty years. When I heard the story of how she walked down her mile-long lane to ask stay-at-home moms, who had no knowledge of winemaking, to come help her harvest her vineyard – and how, together, they broke into the all-male fraternity of winemaking – well, that set me off. I used that nugget, created a beautiful hillside vineyard in the Hudson Valley with a story set in the 1960s and ‘70s during the second phase of feminism. I hope your readers will enjoy it.
How do you come up with book titles? Do you know them from the beginning or do they evolve?
I find titles harder to come up with than characters, plots, or themes. An editor helped me with The Disharmony of Silence. After discussing what happens to a family when long-held secrets are discovered, he sent me to Roget’s Thesaurus to find synonyms for the words we had come up with. Disharmony was perfect. Using that, my husband and I played with phrases, keeping in mind the theme of secrets, and finally created a title I loved – and still do.
The title Sisters of the Vine came from suggestions made by my critique group. Originally, I had The Lady in the Dining Room as the title. They threw that one out, saying it was lame. We tossed around ideas that I submitted to my publisher and he made the final choice. Sisters of the Vine is perfect for the story.
Now I’m struggling with a title for my work-in-progress. The story is almost complete though it’s still called “new manuscript.”
As people learned about your books, what unexpected things happened along the way?
I never expected to develop so many wonderful friendships with readers and other authors. The writing community is extremely welcoming and collaborative. Making these new friends, whether virtually or in-person, has been the best part of this journey.
What is your preferred genre to write in?
I enjoy reading Women’s Fiction and Historical Fiction that book clubs can discuss. Therefore, that’s what I write.
As a result of publishing your books, what have you learned about yourself and/or the writing process?
I don’t remember what author said this but it’s true. Writing is rewriting. And I never realized how much rewriting! Though that is the part I love.
How much time do you spend writing each day?
I don’t write every day or get up at the crack of dawn to get words on the page, as many writers do. I’m too social a person and involved in many activities, so I make writing dates with myself four times a week. On those days, I spend about three hours at my computer. Though when I’m not actually writing, I am mulling over plot points, letting ideas marinate, listening to what my characters are telling me. Yes, they do talk to me. And thankfully, all of this results in novels.
What is something you’ve always wanted to try but have been too scared to?
Parasailing. I love the beach and imagine it would be phenomenal sailing high over the ocean with the wind in my hair. But my fear of heights – and motion sickness – keep me from even contemplating doing it. Maybe, one day, I’ll have a character parasail.
What would you tell your younger self?
I would tell that young, redheaded girl to sit down and put pen to paper. That she can write a novel. Yet, if I had started writing at an earlier age, I might have missed out on many other experiences that I’ve enjoyed, especially my career as a fitness professional.
What are you currently working on or have future plans to write?
I am almost finished with the first draft of a novel set between 1969 and ’71. It centers around envy and jealousy, abortion, and a deep dark secret held in an emerald necklace. You’ll meet some fabulous older women, and have tea with them on Rosalee’s porch every Thursday afternoon. When it has a title and is on the shelves, I’ll be happy to let you know.
Was it difficult for you to find a publisher for your books?
Serendipity played a big part in finding my publisher. After many unsuccessful attempts to get a literary agent, I decided to query small presses that did not require one. I had heard about other Women’s Fiction writers published by Black Rose Writing, so I filled out their online submission form. After several weeks of hearing nothing, I assumed, as with many queries, I wasn’t going to get an answer. Not a request or a rejection. At the time, I had been working with an independent editor and told her about this submission. “That’s my publisher!” she said, then proceeded to let me know they were in the midst of updating their website and I probably got caught in the change. On her suggestion, I resubmitted. The next day I received a request for the full manuscript. I was thrilled, though not as much as I was one month later when they emailed with a contract offer. It’s been a wonderful journey ever since.
Read the first chapters of both books on Linda’s website: https://www.linda-rosen.com