Q&A with Jennifer Rosner
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Q&A With Jennifer Rosner
Today I have the honor of doing a
Q&A with author Jennifer Rosner. Jennifer’s debut novel “The Yellow Bird
Sings,” came out in 2020. Jennifer’s second novel “Once We Were Home,” comes
out in March of 2023.
Q: So Jennifer at what point did you
realize that you were called to write?
A: I came to writing quite late in life! I was a philosophy
professor before becoming a writer; I had never considered a creative writing
life until our daughters were born. Both of our girls were deaf, and this came
as a complete surprise. I began by journaling, and I found myself very
nourished by the process of writing down my thoughts and feelings. From
this personal writing, I moved into fiction, and I love it!
Q: What advice do you have for those
wanting to write historical fiction novels like you do?
A: My advice to those wanting to
write (in any genre) is to write consistently. Persistence is the key! Patience
helps, too, especially for historical fiction, because there is often a lot of
research. I think historical fiction requires a delicate creativity,
because we want the factual details and truths to permeate our fictional
stories, without dictating their every turn.
Q: What made you want to write
historical fiction novels about the Holocaust?
A: I was carried in by the
concept of hiding, actually. I’d written a
memoir, If A Tree Falls: A family’s quest to hear and be heard,
about raising our deaf daughters in a hearing world. At a book event, I was
discussing our decision to get them assistive technology and to encourage them
to speak. A woman in the audience raised her hand and described her childhood
experience: she had to remain completely silent while hiding with her
mother in a shoemaker’s attic during WWII. I couldn’t stop thinking about
what it must have been like for a mother to have to keep her child hidden and
silent, and for a child to have to stay quiet for months on end. I later interviewed
this woman, and then many other hidden children of the Holocaust. The
Yellow Bird Sings grew from there (and Once We Were Home
has roots there, too).
Q: What do you want readers to take
away from your novels?
A: I hope readers will find meaning in
the themes of connectivity and longing, the place of creativity in human
survival, what it means to find home. These drive me to my writing table
each day, and hopefully bring sustenance to readers.
Q: Does Hollywood have the rights to
any of your novels?
A: Not yet. There are a couple of
conversations in progress, but nothing set.
Q: Are you writing a new novel now?
If so can you spoil a little about it?
A: Yes, I am at work on a new
novel that follows a girl from France to the US, and explores the fractiousness
between the Hearing and Deaf worlds as a microcosm for the political
fractiousness between groups in the US and elsewhere.