Today’s interview is with authoress, Jane L. Rosen. I gobbled up her delightful and funny new novel, NINE WOMEN, ONE DRESS (and already several of my friends are doing likewise.) It’s a novel in which nine women, as per the title, are linked through one perfect “little black dress.”
A few words about her:
JANE L. ROSEN is an author and Huffington Post contributor. She lives in New York City and Fire Island with her husband and three daughters. She is the author of a young adult novel, The Thread, which she self-published. In addition to her writing, she is the cofounder of It's All Gravy, a web and app-based gifting company.
NINE WOMEN, ONE DRESS has a lovely backstory involving the dress-maker, and his journey from Poland. My Polish Jewish grandparents worked in the garment industry-- I’m wondering if yours did too, or was this pure fiction?
Rosen: The backstory of Max and Dorothy Hammer is loosely based on a Great Aunt and Great Uncle of mine of Polish descent. In fact, every name used in Chapter One is from one of my relatives. I had family on both sides in the garment industry, mostly the coat market. I actually majored in fashion and textiles and worked in the coat market for my first five years out of college.
Your novel shows a respect for what style means in women’s lives, and how a dress can “make” a moment. Are you stylish in real life? Do you own a perfect little black dress?
Rosen: I have three grown daughters so between us there are a lot of outfit changes and the house can seem like a dressing room at Bloomingdale's! I do have a variety of great little black dresses and have been on the hunt for more of them ever since I got the fantastic news that my book was being published.
I loved the fact that NINE WOMEN, ONE DRESS offered so many different happy endings for such varied women. Do you think there’s a “literary” bias against happy endings?
Rosen: I do think so. But that being said, I don’t care. Life is hard enough, a good book with a happy ending is a nice escape from the problems of the real world! There is no bigger thrill for me than when someone says I made them laugh.
NINE WOMEN, ONE DRESS has so many wonderful women. Did you have a personal favorite among them? Was there a story you wanted to pursue?
Rosen: I like all of the characters, with the exception of those not meant to be liked. My favorite characters are Ruthie, Tomás, and Natalie who all work in the dress department at Bloomingdale's.
There are lot of rules about what’s good writing and what’s bad. Is there any writing rule that you secretly enjoy breaking?
Rosen: I enjoy breaking rules and I’m no different with my writing. I guess that’s where my fabulous editor Claudia Herr steps in, and my husband come to think of it! They both straighten things out for me when needed.
I’m always trying to discover new (or forgotten) writers. Do you have suggestions for our readers looking for lighter stuff?
Rosen: I always enjoy re-reading Philip Roth and Nora Ephron. Right now I have a paperback of The Knockoff co-written by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza in my beach bag.
Any new projects in the works that you’d like to share with our readers?
Rosen: Next up is the story of a spoiled but lovable Upper East Sider named Esmé Nash who spends one August squatting in her vacationing shrink’s apartment.
You can follow Jane at:
Twitter handle JANELROSEN1
Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/janelrosenauthor/?fref=ts