To celebrate the release of her new book The Lily Garden, we asked author Barbara Josselsohn to let us in on seven things she'd like her readers to know about her! Here's what she had to reveal...
1. I know everything there is to know about mattresses
I started my writing career as a journalist for the mattress industry, and I spent about five years researching mattress components, interviewing mattress makers, and watching mattresses being assembled. Writing about mattresses taught me how one step leads inevitably to the next – a great lesson for a would-be novelist!
2. I have a 112-year-old writing partner
Well, 112 in dog years, that is! My adorable shih-poo, Mosley, who’ll be 17 in people-years this fall, is the best writing pal you can imagine. He’s a little less agile than he was when he was younger, but he lies at my feet when I’m writing, and always has a kiss and tail wag for me when it’s time for the two of us to get something to eat. I love him so much!
3. I suffer big-time from book brain
Book brain is when the characters in my head seem more real to me than the actual people in my life. My kids know there’s no talking to me when I’m in deep book brain, which occurs when I’m about three-quarters through a book. They see my eyes glazed over and they turn and walk away. They know it may be a while before they’ll have my full attention again!
4. I always wanted to be a ballerina
No, it never happened, but I’ve been studying ballet ever since I was five years old, and one of my favorite things to do is see the ballet at Lincoln Center in New York. I love the classics Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, Coppelia, and on and on. I even made my main character in The Lilac House a former dancer. One summer my daughter had an internship with New York City Ballet, and she would get free tickets to the ballet whenever she wanted. I was so lucky that she often was able to snag a ticket for me!
5. My mother fell in love when she was 83-years-old!
It’s true – she’d had a wonderful marriage to my dad for almost 50 years, and she expected to spend the rest of her life alone when he died. But lo and behold – about 10 years after she lost him, a friend introduced her to a man who became the second great love of her life. I find her story so inspiring: She’s taught me that it’s never too late to start a new chapter in your life!
6. It took me 15 years to write my first novel
My life was busy back then, with a young family, a part-time job, some volunteer gigs, and more. But I always knew I had a novel inside of me – so I just kept going. Some days I could only write for 10 minutes before I got called away, but if I could write 100 words or so in those 10 minutes, I considered it a successful writing session. As my best teachers always told me, you can’t publish a book that you haven’t written; it’s all about getting the words down, even if it’s just a few at a time.
7. I LOVE being a novelist!
What better thing is there to do than make up stories and put them down on paper? Sometimes I imagine my characters as little dolls that come out of the computer when I turn it on. Even when I’m having a hard day or when something’s got me down, I always know those little guys are there waiting for me to come get them. They’re always glad to see me, and they love to come out and play!
The Lily Garden by Barbara Josselsohn is out and available now!
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