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Friday, December 18, 2015

Interview: Author of Please Say Kaddish for Me

Hi! I am Carolyn Howard Johnson, your trusty New Book Review blogger and author of the multi award-winning HowTo Do It Frugally Series of books for writers. This blog has heretofore been exclusive for reviews but I thought I’d do a special series of interviews after I chatted with Jeanie Loiacono, President of Loiacono Literary Agency – Where ‘can’t’ is not in our vocabulary! I thought sharing the interviews would help the many subscribers and visitors to this New Book Review blog, including authors, reviewers, and, of course, readers who just might find a new favorite author among the featured books and authors.

So, today welcome Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

 “Startlingly new! Wonderfully different!” boasted the advertisements for the 1953 Chevrolet sedan. Much to the chagrin of her brother Jeff, Rochelle made her entrance into the world the same year her parents purchased their first car. Growing up in Kansas City, she doesn’t remember wanting to be anything other than an artist. Her mother would bemoan the fact with, “Thanks to Rochelle, I can’t find a clean sheet of paper in this house.”

Early on, Rochelle’s love of the arts extended to writing. At age nine she had a poem entitled “The Girl with the Dolls” printed in a magazine. While excited to see her name in black and white, she wasn’t thrilled with the way her grandmother, a widely published poet in New York, saw fit to edit it.

Rochelle’s short story “Savant” has been published in Voices, Vol. III. Another short story, “The Swimming Lesson”, is included in Echoes of the Ozarks, Vol. VI and a third, “Reap the Whirlwind” in Voices, Volume IV. Two of these stories are included in her own short story collection with original artwork This, That and Sometimes the Other; all published by High Hill Press. Her novel, Please Say Kaddish For Me (Argus Publishing) is available now; the sequel, From Silt and Ashes, will be out before Christmas. She is working on the third in the series, As One Must, One Can. We are also compiling a coffee table book of her art from all the booksA Stone for the Journey.

Q. What is your genre? Is it fiction or nonfiction?
A. Historical Fiction.

Q. What made you want to be a writer?
A. Of all the crazy things, it started with fan fiction. As a M*A*S*H fan, I found a site where others had written their own episodes of the show. I had been doing this in my head for years with M*A*S*H and other favorite shows. When I wrote a couple of my own short stories, I discovered I could tell a story with a beginning, middle and end. It also sparked my passion for research to make my stories historically accurate.

Q. Of all the authors out there, who inspired you most?
A. Geraldine Brooks. In my eyes, she’s the undisputed champion for Historical Fiction. Her knowledge and research shine through; her characters live, breathe and walk off the page.

Q. What is your writing style? Do you outline? Linearly? By scene? Why?
A. In the book I’m currently working on, As One Must One Can, I have written an outline, although I didn’t for the two previous books in the trilogy, Please Say Kaddish for Me and From Silt and Ashes. I suppose you could call my “Family Tree Maker” program an outline. At my husband’s suggestion I’ve used the program to keep my characters straight. So far this has worked very well for me. For the most part, writing by scene seems to work best for me. I see them as movies in my head and then work to articulate them in print.

Q. Do you write every day? How much? How long?
A. Yes. Three to four hours is a conservative estimate. Probably 1,000 words.

Q. Do you think reading is as important to writing for an author? Why?
A. Yes. Reading is one of the best ways to learn what works and what doesn’t.

Q. What are some of the things you would like to share with budding authors?
A. Be willing to murder your darlings if they don’t pulse a story forward. The reader will never miss them.

Q. Do you have any marketing and promotional advice, referrals, tips you would like to share?
A. I’m in the learning stages myself.

Q. Do you think conferences are beneficial? If so, what have you learned? Which ones do you frequent?
A. Yes, they are the best way to meet editors and agents and to network with other authors. Ozarks Writers League (OWL) holds conferences four times a year.

Q. Where can we find you, your books and when is your next event?        
A. Nothing scheduled right now, but my books are available on Amazon and B&N. The sequel to Please Say Kaddish For Me, From Silt and Ashes, will be out any day now. I am working on the third in the series, As One Must, One Can. We are also compiling a coffee table book of her art from all the booksA Stone for the Journey. Rochelle’s Art   Rochelle Wisoff-Fields Art and Blogs Facebook Author Page Facebook Friday’s Fictioneers Rochelle’s website Twitter 
Represented by Loiacono Literary Agency, Jeanie Loiacono


Jeanie Loiacono, President, Loiacono Literary Agency
A facilitator of dreams, Jeanie Loiacono represents over eighty authors. Her forte is mystery, romance, thrillers, historical/military/southern fiction, and all quality fiction/nonfiction. Her passion is to see her authors succeed.

“There is nothing more rewarding than to hold one of my author’s books and know I helped bring it to fruition. I am so blessed and privileged to be able to work with some of the most talented writers in the world.”



The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

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