Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Author interview and book giveaway: Saralee Rosenberg

I'm so delighted today because the lovely Saralee Rosenberg has come to chat! Now, you may recognize her name since we've spoken together so many times in the past. And if you were lucky enough to attend any of these events, you know how unbelievably hilarious Saralee is! (She really missed her calling as a stand-up comic, methinks....)


Today, Saralee's here to answer some of our questions and also give away not one, but TWO signed copies of her latest release: DEAR NEIGHBOR, DROP DEAD. Doesn't the title alone just make you want to pick it up and read it? And, um, maybe leave a copy for your annoying next door neighbor? Ahem. But don't tell them that I told you to do that.

Without further ado, let's hear from Saralee:

Tell us about your most recent novel in 25 words or less.

This is a story of two next door neighbors on Long Island who live to make each other miserable until one day a seventy-year old secret seals their fate forever. Readers have reported chronic laughter and tears. See your doctor if symptoms persist.



When did you first begin writing?


I'm told that I was writing short stories as young as seven or eight-years old, and that I used to have to pay my older sister a quarter to read them. Turns out that she liked them so much, she'd end up giving me the money back, but I have very little recollection of any of this. Still, I do remember having a class clown mentality. Little did I know that some of my earliest material would be the notes I sent to my kids' teachers. They would always tell me that they couldn't wait for me to write to them to explain some mishap or issue because whatever I said would guarantee the laugh of the day (yay- gold star for me!). That inspired me to give comedy writing a try, and my first audience were the members of my local ORT chapter (supporting Jewish causes). They would all tell me how much they enjoyed my monthly columns and would try to guess who I was writing about (never expecting it might be them), and yet I was "fired". Seems I ruffled a few feathers with one column about the neighborhood, but it was the best thing that could have happened. I decided if I was going to be publicly shamed, I might as well get paid for the gig and that's when I started writing novels.


What are you working on right now?

I am so excited about the novel I'm working on right now. I have always loved exploring the mother-daughter relationship as I did my four novels, A LITTLE HELP FROM ABOVE (a dead mother), CLAIRE VOYANT (a stand-in mother), FATE AND MS. FORTUNE (a depressed mother) and DEAR NEIGHBOR, DROP DEAD (two very different mothers). But this story takes this mother-daughter bond to a whole new level of riviting interaction. Here is the story: Seventeen years after a deadbeat mom runs away to become a rockstar/drummer, a hit record makes her rich and gives her hope of reconnecting with her daughter, who is expecting her first baby. It's called BEAT IT! I am so in love with Grace (her mother named her after Grace Slick) and her take on life and love that I have a feeling I'm going to need a literary leash. She is taking me in way different directions than I envisioned. Go Grace!!!!


How do you fight writer’s block?


I'm one of the lucky ones who has never understood the concept of writer's block. I rarely experience it, maybe because I feed my muse M&Ms and chocolate chip cookies. She/he never leaves my side. Ideas generally pour out and the challenge is what to do with all them- figure out which ones are really good and insert here. But not all of this is luck.

I've developed some pretty nifty tricks to keep the ideas flowing, one of which is to do an astrological natal chart for my main characters. Basically I make up a birthdate, do their charts, and find out what they struggle with, what they enjoy, how they think, what worries them- then I turn on the "what if" part of my brain and voila, more ideas. What I love about this technique is that it helps me create three-dimensional characters who seem and speak real. The best compliment I get is when readers tell me how much they could relate. That's when I know I did my job!


Thanks so much for stopping by, Saralee! And thanks for giving away copies of your latest book!

To enter to win a signed copy of DEAR NEIGHBOR, DROP DEAD, just leave a comment at the bottom of this post. To get another entry, blog about it! OR, to get yet another entry, email five of your friends about this contest (and cc me on the email so that I can account for your extra entry- brenda[at]brendajanowitz[dot]com).

The lucky winners will be announced on July 22nd.




48 comments:

MJ said...

Thanks for introducing me to saralee. She's added to my wish list!!


mj.coward[at]gmail.com

Dina said...

I'd love to read it! aitmama (at) gmail (dot) com

Kaye said...

Saraless sounds like a bundle of fire! I'd love to win her book.

florida982002[at]yahoo.com

trishalynn0708 said...

Please enter me..
I also blogged about it

http://trishasbookshelf.blogspot.com/2009/07/giveaways-of-day_08.html

lovestoread0708(at)yahoo(dot)com

Sheila DeChantal said...

Oh - this looks awesome and what a great interview! Please include me!

Debbie said...

I can't wait to read SaraLee's book.

dcf_beth at verizon dot net

Pam said...

I can't believe I've never read any of these books! They all sound so wonderful - the perfect summer reads! I'm hoping to win, but if not, I may have to add the entire collection to my wish list!

melacan at hotmail odt com

TR Hughes said...

How in the world has this author eluded my radar? Thanks so much for sharing the interview. I am excited to add her titles to my reading list. Great site you have here by the way.

www.GuideToLifeForWomen.com

screamingchair said...

I would love to read it. Please, enter me.

luna_lunak(at)yahoo.com

wheresmyrain said...

sound like a good read, definitly an author i now want to check out

drey said...

I'd love to be entered!! Thanks for the interview & giveaway, Brenda!

Janel said...

I love the idea of doing an astrological chart for the main characters! Fun interview!! Please enter me.

jgbeads at gmail dot com

Wrighty said...

What a great interview! Saralee sounds like my kind of author, especially her humor! I've heard such good things about this book and I would love to be entered in the contest. I'm adding all of these titles to my list. Thanks!

I've added this to my sidebar.
www.wrightysreads.blogspot.com

5wrights1[at]verizon[dot]net

CarolynG said...

The book sounds like it's quite enjoyable. If I don't win the free one I will buy it anyway!!! :-)

throuthehaze said...

count me in!
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Valorie said...

I'd love a chance to win. :)

Blogged, too: http://www.morbid-romantic.net/2009/07/06/book-giveaways-07-06-07-12/

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com

Llehn said...

The book sounds awesome!

lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

Kristi said...

I love those books that make you laugh out loud - please enter me in the giveaway - meanwhile I am going to go add her books to my "list"!

kherbrand at comcast dot net

Julie said...

I love to read and this sounds like good book too.
aprilmom00 at yahoo dot com

bocamom62@hotmail.com said...

Sounds like a book I would love to read. I read about this book in a post by Ellen Meister in one of the reading groups on CafeMom

cmjune76@yahoo.com said...

Hi! I love being introduced to different authors! I am so happy you are part of Gather!

jou-bee said...

I enjoyed reading the interview. I love a good wit and enjoy humor in all aspects. Looking forward to reading one of saralee's books.

Mitzy said...

wow this book looks so fun! Definitely sign me up =)

and I put it on my blog!

www.mitzyanne.blogspot.com

just1linmichele@aol.com

ChristyJan said...

This sounds like a great read! Please enter me to win.

hawkes(at)citlink.net

sarah said...

Rosenberg sounds like the perfect summer read. I suspect my friends will think so too.

liz said...

I would love to read this. Count me in!



liz6588@msn.com

Aramena said...

See, this is why I try to limit myself on reading blogs and forums and other online stuff. I have a gazillion books to read, but I keep finding new authors to look out for!

All of Saralee's books sound really good, and I especially enjoy books that include a lot of humor, so she sounds right up my alley!

rmayerhoefer at cox dot net

stacybuckeye said...

She sounds wonderful and so does the book. Please sign me up.
stacybooks at yahoo

Beth said...

Great review! That title really makes me want to read it.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Darcy said...

Sounds like a great read!

dlodden(at)frontiernet(dot)net

...MY NAME IS ELENI AND I AM A BOOKAHOLIC... said...

Sounds like an interesting book, please enter me! Thanks :)

-Eleni
lafemmereaders@yahoo.com

Marjorie said...

Sounds like a good review, count me in.

etirv said...

I want to win this book!
delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

Danielle a.k.a Yellie said...

This sounds like the kind of book that right up my alley! Thanks for the chance to win.

danielle78@comcast.net

lorib said...

This sounds like a really funny book. I can't wait to read it. Please add me to the drawing. Thx.

Alison said...

I'm stunned that I have not discovered Saralee myself! All her books sound hysterical! Please enter me, and in the next day or so I'll blog about her and her upcoming book on www.alisons-bookmarks.blogspot.com

Thank you!
Alison

Alison said...

Here's my blog post on Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead. I hope my own neighbors appreciate the humor with which my post was written!

http://alisons-bookmarks.blogspot.com/2009/07/dear-neighbor-drop-dead-by-saralee.html

Alison

Luvdaylilies said...

Brenda,
Thanks for the review.
I haven't read any of Ms Rosenbergs books but I will now be on the look out!
Thanks for the interview & giveaway=)
Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net

photoquest said...

This sounds like a very entertaining book! Wonderful interview also makes me want to check out the other books as well!!
photoquest(at)bellsouth(dot)net

stacymarie913 said...

I want it! I want it! LOL!

I've read some of Saralee Rosenberg's other books and thought they were great. This one has been on my wish list for a while.

Marjorie said...

This book sounds interesting, I am
a new follower and would like to win this giveaway.

Marge said...

I can't wait to read it! I would loveee to win the book

Sue said...

This looks so fun! Thanks for the giveaway~

s.mickelson at gmail dot com

Dee said...

What a great title, also sounds like some previous neighbors, I'd love a copy.

Esme said...

Can I just leave the book (after I am finished reading it) on the annoying neighbour's porch?

chocolateandcroissants at yahoo dot com

toryaslim822 said...

I would love to read this book. It sounds wonderful and can't believe I haven't heard about any of her books before! I will have to add them to my WL and Reminder list on paperbackswap!

Amanda said...

I'd love to read this book!

amandacollyer@gmail.com

Carolyn said...

this book sounds great, thanks for the giveaway!