What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
Lauren B. Grossman and I was born in a little town called Holyoke, MA. I grew up in Western MA and moved to Southern Arizona 16 years ago. I have not missed the winters.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?My novel is titled, “Once in Every Generation.” It’s about two extraordinary women with extraordinary singing voices. Each learn to lean on each other’s strengths to overcome challenges.
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I have begun writing my next novel which is quite different from my first. In fact, I went to London to begin the research I needed. It is historical fiction – whereas my first novel was mainstream literature. I have not begun this with the intention of making it into a series. I suppose it depends on the ending.
How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?I began my first novel at the age of 12, but never finished it. Then again at 25 I began a novel, but never finished it. I did not have any endings in mind. Then one morning seven years ago, I awoke with a beginning, middle and ending to a story. I ran to the computer and started typing. I stayed true to the initial storyline, but was pleasantly surprised when side stories and characters made their appearance in the novel. It was an interesting process.
Before this novel, I had published newspaper and magazine articles. Two of my short stories have won awards and one of those stories I adapted into a play, which I hope will one day be produced.
There are a lot of novelists which I aspire to emulate, but none of them were my inspiration to write. My parents always encouraged my writings, since that first novel when I was twelve.
Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Yes, I have.
How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
When I was eleven, my mother made me watch a Barbra Streisand television special. I’ve never forgotten what my mother said about this extraordinary singer. She said that Barbra Streisand was a phenomenon that happened only once in every generation. And since, my novel was about extraordinary singers from different generations, it was the obvious choice for a title. I should add a caveat here that the story is not about Barbra Streisand, but about two singers with voices that put you on the edge of your chair.
Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
They say that your first novel is often semiautobiographical, and I would have to agree. My background is the theatre and I have stepped into the spotlight, acting in many plays (sadly, not as a singer). One of the main characters get diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I was diagnosed with MS in 1993, but with a less aggressive form on the spectrum of the disease. So, yes there is a little of me in both characters. You write what you know.
Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
As a reader, I much prefer to hold a book in my hands. I love the smell of books. I love walking into a bookstore being surrounded by thousands of books. Unfortunately, the way publishing is headed, those days will end. Digital is here to stay. I own a Nook, only because it was a gift, but the only book I have downloaded is my own. As an author, I have to accept that readers are now turning to digital format, and so I have made it available in all formats for readers.
What is your favourite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
My favorite novel is “Prince of Tides,” and I have read it several times. Pat Conroy is one of my favorite authors. His prose transports me into the life of Tom Wingo and I can sense his love for South Carolina.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst book to movie transfer?
Most movies have been a disappointing translation of the book. How do you fit a 300-plus page novel into a two-hour movie without giving up some things? How do you understand what dialogue is happening in the head of the protagonist or antagonist, when placed on film? There have been some exceptions, but very few.
Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
Funny you ask that question, because now that it’s in print, I refuse to read my novel again. I know for a fact, that I would find errors and want to add, change or delete things.
What do you think about book trailers?
I believe they can be a very useful marketing tool. I have a book trailer and the link is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQorTkiMfuc. There is no way of knowing whether or not the book trailer has led to sales. I would like to think that it has, but I’ve had over 1,000 views in 6 months, but at the very least, I know that people are watching it.
What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
The writing and publishing world has changed dramatically and it’s not easy to get your book out there. You will have to put as much work into the promoting of the book as you did the writing. If you are not willing to put in the time, don’t bother writing for publication. If you believe in your work, it will show in the work you put into it. The novel, “The Help” was turned down 60 times, but the author kept at it, because she believed in her product.
Where can readers follow you?
I have a website, a blog, a Goodreads account, a Facebook account and a Twitter account (which I still don’t get it). My website has the link to all of these: http://www.laurenbgrossman.com. Feel free to contact me through my website. I love to get feedback – good and bad.
Thank You for taking part in this Interview and allowing us a small glimpse of your writing world.