Teresa Sorkin and Tullan Holmqvist are the authors of the new novel The Woman in the Park. Sorkin is a television producer and Holmqvist is a writer, investigator, and actor.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for The Woman in the Park, and for your character Sarah?
A: We put ourselves in the mind of a woman who really does not know what is real and what is not and imagined an elegant New York woman who meets a mysterious man in Central Park and gets dragged into something darker.
We both have children and have spent many hours in the park with them and the story grew out of that common experience and observing people. We are both storytellers and observers, Teresa as a writer and producer of TV and film and Tullan as a private investigator and writer with a background in acting, and we both love a character-driven approach to stories.
Q: One of the book's characters is a psychiatrist. Why did you decide to focus on psychiatry in the novel?
A: In today’s world, there is a need to address the darker side of people, the shadow side of the psyche. As human beings, we can have more empathy and understanding for other people if we can put ourselves in their shoes, so to speak.
We are very excited that our early readers are saying that they have experienced feeling like they are inside Sarah’s mind when reading The Woman in the Park. We really would love for our book to be just the beginning of an interesting conversation, especially about mental health and the human experience.
Q: How did the two of you collaborate on the book?
A: We developed the idea together and then we wrote back and forth, taking turns with the manuscript. It has been helpful to have a sounding board and to be able to discuss plot points together.
We complement each other and have different strengths and kept the larger goal in mind, staying collaborative with each other and moving the process forward. Writing can be lonely and it has been nice to be able to encourage each other along the way and share both the hard work and the joy.
Q: Did you know how the novel would end before you started writing it, or did you change things around along the way?
A: We knew how it was going to end, but we also let the characters inform us and they spoke to us and the story wrote itself at some point. In broad strokes, the story stayed the same.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: We are working on our second book together, an exciting thriller set in Italy, a murder mystery with some supernatural psychological elements. We are drawn to psychology and after The Woman in the Park, we want to continue to explore how the mind can sometimes play tricks.
We also have a couple of TV & film projects together – one about a female investigator in New York loosely based on Tullan’s work.
Teresa – I am working on several film and TV projects with my production company Roman Way.
Tullan – I am writing a middle grade novel that goes back and forth between New York of today and Florence during the renaissance and involves an artistic friendship between a young girl and Leonardo da Vinci. And I also fit in my day job – my work as a private investigator in New York.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: Please join us for book events – details on our websites:
--Interview with Deborah Kalb