Thursday, May 26, 2022

Q&A with Marilyn Simon Rothstein




Marilyn Simon Rothstein is the author of the new novel Crazy to Leave You. Her other books include Husbands and Other Sharp Objects. She lives in Connecticut.


Q: What inspired you to write Crazy to Leave You, and how did you create your character Lauren?


A: Happy to be here and have the chance to talk about Crazy to Leave You. I like to write about women who find their strength due to a great personal defeat. Also, I know a lot about working in advertising. Also, my own mother painted the kitchen pink to match the Sweet'N Low packets.


From this: Lauren Leo, a 40-year-old advertising executive obsessed with her scale, is left at the altar. Humiliated, but determined not to wallow, Lauren faces a wedding guest who won’t leave, a judgmental mother who insists Lauren freeze her eggs, and deep self-doubt over whether she’ll ever “Say Yes” to anyone about anything ever again.

Crazy to Leave You is one woman’s route to accepting herself as she is, feeling at long last worthy, and finding love—in unexpected places.


Q: The author Lisa Barr said of the book, “Rothstein's genius lies in her keen observations, richly developed characters, razor-sharp ability to expose family dysfunction at its rotten core--and most of all, her unparalleled laugh-out-loud humor through love, loss, hope, and healing.” What do you think of that description, and what role do you see humor playing in this novel?


A: I love everything that Lisa Barr has written—including this blurb. I believe good-hearted laughter is the way through love, loss, hope, and healing. When I speak to a friend who is having a hard day (or year), I distract her by saying something I think will bring on a smile.


I write the same way. The greatest compliment is when a reader tells me she was reading in bed and her husband complained about the laughter, so she had to take my book into another room.


Q: Did you know how the book would end before you started writing it, or did you make many changes along the way?


A: I had no idea how the book would end. In fact, I had several alternate endings until I found the right one.


Q: What do you hope readers take away from the story?


A: I hope every reader will finish the last page with a smile.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I am working on a novel about three women competing for the affection of their children and grandchildren. I don’t know the ending yet. In fact, I am not sure of the beginning.


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: I think I will quote Kerry Anne King, bestselling author of Other People’s Things: “On the surface, Crazy to Leave You is a funny, lighthearted story. But underlying Rothstein’s signature humor and wry, engaging voice lies the shattering dilemma of every woman who has ever believed that she is not enough—not thin enough, not successful enough, not loved enough. Lauren’s journey to loving herself is one to which we can all relate.”


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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