Archive | September 2015

Renee Rosen–Weaves Historical Novels With A Twist

ReneeRosen0997b   I am excited to have you here today Renee. You’ve authored What the Lady Wants and Dollface along with a YA novel, Every Crooked Pot. Now, your latest is White Collar due out November of this year.

What were your thoughts after publishing Dollface and What the Lady Wants?

white-collar-girl_brown_Page_1-copyThese were two historical novels set in Chicago and I wondered if I’d run out of material for a third book set in the Windy City. I fretted over it for sometime before I realized there was a fascinating story right under my nose. The Chicago Tribune during the 1950s was the perfect backdrop for a novel filled with real-life scandals, intrigue and the role of women rising up in the workplace. We pitched White Collar Girl as Mad Men meets House of Cards and with my publisher’s support I was off and writing about a young ambitious reporter struggling to make a name for herself in the man dominated newspaper world. Incidentally, the title, White Collar Girl came from an actual Tribune column by the same name that appeared in the 1940s and 1950s. It was geared toward career women whom in those days were mostly secretaries, nurses and schoolteachers.

Wow. That alone would make me want to read the book. Plus I loved the clothes they wore in the 1040’s and 1050’s.  Women and Men both  dressed.

Did you ever work for a newspaper or even go in one?

I’ve never stepped foot inside a newspaper before. I knew next to nothing about journalism. I had my work cut out for me. I met with numerous reporters and learned about some of the biggest, juiciest scandals that rocked Chicago and the nation back in the 1950s. I always knew Chicago had a reputation for political corruption and voter fraud, but I had no idea just how outlandish Daley’s political machine really was. I think readers will be surprised by the author’s note I’ve included in the back of the book, which specifies all the factual scandals that appear in the novel.

With that research as my foundation, the story took over and I became merely a vehicle. Right away I sensed that there was something different in the writing, in the development of the characters and in the arc of the story. I had no idea where the book was going, but my characters sure did and I stepped aside and let them lead me in a way that I’d never experienced before. As a writer, I felt that I truly grew in my craft with this book and I truly hope that people will enjoy reading White Collar Girl as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Sounds like there will be many people wanting to read the book. It sounds intriguing.

I was looking over your website, and read about in your former life as an advertising copywriter. You said you always had a novel in your desk drawer.

Yes, I did, and when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped from writing ad copy to writing fiction. You see, I love history, all things old, all things written and I love Chicago.

cover-what-the-lady-wants-430x647Tell me about your book What the Lady Wants.

In late 19th century Chicago, Marshal Field, who was a visionary retail tycoon made his fortune wooing women customers with his famous motto: “Give the lady what she wants.”  He began an affair with Delia Spencer. After the Great Fire Marshall Field led the way in rebuilding. He transformed his dry goods store into a glamorous palace of a department store. Behind the opulence, their private lives are riddled with scandal and heartbreak. Delia and Marshall first turn to each other out of loneliness, but as their love deepens, they will stand together despite disgrace and ostracism, through an age of devastation and opportunity, when an adolescent Chicago is transformed into the gleaming White City of the Chicago’s World’s Fair of 1893.

dollfacesThe Gilded Age always captured my imagination and interest and the fact that the book is an historical novel will make it that much more interesting to readers. So if people haven’t read this one, I suggest they get it. It is wonderful.

Your book DollFace is also a great read.

Thank you. I set this in the 1920’s when America was alive with jazz, speakeasies and a new kind of woman—the flapper.

Vera Abramowitz is determined to leave her gritty childhood and live an exciting life.  Bobbing her hair and showing her knees, the lipsticked beauty dazzles, doing the Charleston in nightclubs and earning the nickname “Dollface.”

She’s the ultimate flapper and captures the attention of two high rollers, a nightclub owner and a sexy gambler. On their arms, she gains entree into a world filled with bootlegged bourbon, wailing jazz and money to burn. She thinks her biggest problem is choosing between them, until the truth comes out. Her two lovers are really mobsters from rival gangs during Chicago’s infamous Beer Wars, a battle Al Capone refuses to lose.

The life she’s living is an illusion resting on a bedrock of crime and violence unlike anything the country has ever seen before. When the good times end, Vera becomes entangled in everything from bootlegging to murder. And as men from both gangs fall around her, she must put together the pieces of her shattered life, as Chicago hurtles towards one of the most infamous days in its history, the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

You have a knack in being able to weave the story in with history.

01 Cover - Sept 2015 (1)In September, Southern Writers Magazine showcased your new book. I know readers will be looking forward to November to get your book.

I want to thank you for dropping by and telling us about your books.

Be sure and visit Renee





Claire Fullerton-A Woman of Adventure

claire fullerton1download A word I would use to describe Claire Fullerton is adventurous. Although she was born in Minnesota, she moved to Memphis, Tennessee when she was 10.

I heard you consider yourself still a Southerner even though you now live in California.

“Yes, I do consider myself a Southerner, a card-carrying member of the last romantic culture on earth. When I was growing up, Memphis was a hotbed of social and cultural change. In this atmosphere, I embraced popular music, the city that sits on the bluff of the Mississippi is a musical mecca, and I wanted to be in its middle.  I found my niche in radio by being on the air-staff of five radio stations during a nine-year career.  Eventually this led me to Los Angeles where I worked as an artist’s representative securing record deals. After three years I took a trip to Ireland and stayed a year.”

I read you are a people watcher.

“My mother told me as a child, I used to sit and watch people.  I was thirty years old the first time I heard this, and she followed the revelation by telling me, “You still do.” If what is known as “the writer’s eye” is the ability to see the world from the outside in, then I am happily guilty.”

Tell us what opened the door to your writing.

“A happy accident involving a white dove that landed on my roof started my writing career. After a solid week of its residency, I walked into the offices of “The Malibu Surfside News” thinking maybe somebody had lost a pet.  The nice assistant at the desk asked me to take a picture and write a few lines. I decided to do better than that.  When news of the dove was published, the paper’s editor received public response, which she published in the subsequent edition. I felt it my civic duty to report when the dove flew away, so I wrote a piece in the interest of closure, but it opened a door instead. The dove led me to write a weekly column, which led to publication in magazines, awards in writing contests, and repeated appearances in the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series.”

portal in time19780989063227_p0_v1_s192x300Your first published novel, A Portal in Time, tell us the story behind that book.

“My husband and I took a trip to Carmel-by-the-sea on the Monterey Peninsula and stayed in a historic hotel. I tapped my dear husband on the shoulder at 2:00 in the morning to report I couldn’t sleep because the hotel was so haunted. That incident was the beginning A Portal in Time.”

01 SW Cover May 2015 (1)I loved your article you wrote in our May/June Southern Writers Magazine, “Keeping the Faith on the Road to Publication.” Not only was it interesting and helpful for other writers but I know people who don’t write that read it and they enjoyed so much learning about this part of a writers behind the scenes.

DancingtoanIrishReel2 1400x2100[1] Your second book, Dancing to an Irish Reel,  Tell us about your book. I think you captured everything I think of Ireland in this book. A land where family, breezes, tradition and adventure are all rolled in the landscape together.

“One reviewer described it as “A sensitive and lyrical tribute to the Irish culture and the wonders of falling in love.” The story concerns twenty-five year old Hailey Crossan, who takes a sabbatical from her job in the LA record business and travels to the west of Ireland, where she is offered a job too good to turn down. It becomes a year of firsts, where everything is about discovery as Hailey navigates the social nuances and customs of a culture as old as time itself.
Hailey works at The Galway Music Centre, where she is surrounded by a handful of vibrant Irish friends who help her decipher what’s going on when she meets a regionally famous, traditional musician, who is so unbalanced at the prospect of love that he won’t come closer nor completely go away!
The title, “Dancing to an Irish Reel” refers to the push and pull, the ambiguity and uncertainty of attraction with all its hope, fears,  excitement and confusions played out on an Irish stage!


“And so begins Hailey’s journey to a colorful land that changes her life, unites her with friends more colorful than the Irish landscape, and gives her a chance at happiness she’s never found before.”

You have a wonderful ability to weave your personal experiences into your stories. Indeed, you are a talented writer.

When your next book is ready to launch, please drop by and tell us about the story.

Thank you for visiting with us today.

 Be sure and visit Claire’s website, She would love to hear from you.

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