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JJ Barnes The Table Read

Written by JJ Barnes

www.jjbarnes.co.uk

I interviewed author Linda Rosen about her life, what inspires her writing, and the story of her latest book, Sisters Of The Vine.

Tell me a bit about who you are.

Thank you, JJ, for inviting me to your blog and for the opportunity to meet the friends of The Table Read.

I am a fitness professional turned writer who is not a fan of snow and ice. I’m what’s called a snow bird. My husband and I live in New Jersey, a half hour out of Manhattan and less than a mile from my grandsons. Yet, despite how wonderful that is, when I have to swap my flip flops for shoes and socks we head to our home in southeast Florida where I can swim all winter long. I play tennis and pickleball and love to read with my feet in the sand, the sound of the surf my background music.

Linda Rosen, author of Sisters Of The Vine, interview on The Table Read
Linda Rosen

I have two novels published by Black Rose Writing, The Disharmony of Silence and Sisters of the Vine. It’s still kind of surreal to me! I published “later in life,” a dream come true. Both of my novels released during the pandemic. I’m working on a third book now and hope to have it published in a year or so – and not in a pandemic – hopefully.

When did you first WANT to write a book?

Penning a novel was a dream, one I never really believed I’d ever do. I have always been an avid reader and thought how wonderful it would be to have someone curl up with a novel that I wrote. As I said, though, I never gave it serious thought. I had done some professional writing yet a novel was something totally different. And then, when I was nearing my sixtieth birthday, I had a burning urge to use my creativity for something new.

While perusing an adult school catalogue looking for a photography course, I came upon a writers workshop. I signed up and my fingers started flying across the keyboard. And they keep on flying.

When did you take a step to start writing?

It was about 15 years ago. I started with short stories from prompts given in the writers workshop I mentioned above. Some were published! You can find them on my website, www.linda-rosen.com.

How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?

Ten long years.

How long did it take you to complete your latest book from the first idea to release?

Thirteen years. I started Sisters of the Vine in 2008 but when the inspiration for The Disharmony of Silence came to me, I put Sisters aside. Over the years, I went back and forth between the two, finally focusing on Disharmony. One month after it released, my publisher asked for Sisters of the Vine and now, I’m am thrilled to say, I have two books in readers’ hands.

Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write Sisters Of The Vine?

Over lunch in New York’s SoHo neighborhood, I reconnected with a high school friend of mine. Relating our stories of what we had done in the forty plus years since graduation, I learned how she became the first woman winery owner, with a woman winemaker, in her region.

After a disastrous marriage, she was left with 13 acres of grapes, full to bursting, ready to be picked and no idea how to get the job done. She walked down her mile-long road knocking on doors of stay-at-home moms, who had no knowledge of winemaking, asking them to come and help.

The women came and together they broke into the all-male fraternity of winemakers creating an award-winning winery.

I was so taken with her story, I had to write it. I changed the period of time, the locale, and a great deal of the story to free myself and make it into a novel. Who knew munching on salads in SoHo would turn into a book!

What were your biggest challenges with writing Sisters Of The Vine?

Before I changed the time period and locale, I was hamstrung by the true story. Once I broke away, I felt free and my creative juices bubbled.

Who or what inspired you when creating your Protagonist?

My girlfriend, who I mentioned above. Also, the women of my generation. The book is set in the 1960s and ‘70s which encompasses the second phase of feminism. Liz, my protagonist, is a strong woman who found her strength when huge obstacles were thrown her way, the same as many women of that time.

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Who or what inspired you when creating your Antagonist?

Remember, Sisters of the Vine was inspired by a true story. My friend’s husband was the model for my antagonist, though he is quite changed in my novel. I made him worse than the real person.

What is the inciting incident of Sisters Of The Vine?

When Liz finally wakes up and confronts Rick. I don’t want to say more, other than you’ll cheer.

What is the main conflict of Sisters Of The Vine?

Liz is faced with many obstacles, mostly within herself. She refuses to disappoint her father – again, yet does she have the moxi to flourish?  

Did you plot Sisters Of The Vine in advance, or fly by the seat of your pants and write freely?

I flew! Plotting and outlining are not part of my vocabular. I do have an idea where I want the book to go but let my characters take me down paths and roads I never expected.

Linda Rosen, author of The Disharmony Of Silence, interview on The Table Read

Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did Sisters Of The Vine need?

I have a wonderful editor who helped polish the manuscript after I felt it was finished. My critique group helped along the way with story and character development and I did use Spun Yarn for Beta Readers. The editor came it at the very end and, thankfully, the book didn’t need much.

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What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a story?

Sit down and let the words tumble onto the page. Write. Enjoy the journey.

Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?

I’m three quarters of the way through my third book that takes place in 1969 and ’70. It centers around a group of women, one a sculptor with no faith in herself, her feminist teenage granddaughter, an award-winning author and a few others. Jealousy, envy, and women’s rights all come to play. As always, I have a piece of jewelry in my books and this one has an emerald with a secret. What it doesn’t have is a title – yet. Possibly Tea at Rosalee’s. What do you think?

And, finally, are you proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?

Absolutely. I am not only proud of having written two books and that they’re published, which was no easy feat, but with my having the faith to reinvent myself later in life. (I do not like the term “senior years.”) As someone once told me, we don’t retire, we re-wire.

Pop all your books, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:

The Disharmony of Silence and Sisters of the Vine are available on Amazon, Barnes and Nobel.com, Target.com, Bookshop.org, BlackRoseWriting.com and other on-line sellers.

Follow me at

Website www.linda-rosen.com (You can sign up for my infrequent newsletter, Linda’s Tea Room and find out about the Author Talk Network)

 Facebook www.facebook.com/lindarosenauthor

Instagram www.instagram.com/lindarosenauthor

Twitter www.twitter.com/lrosenauthor

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/linda-rosen-5130b513/

BookBubhttps://www.bookbub.com/profile/linda-rosen

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5265706.Linda_Rosen

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