Q: What inspired you to write When We Let Go, and how did you create your character Avery?
A: Initially, the book was inspired by the setting, Vizcaya [Museum and Gardens in Florida]. I toured the museum and gardens several years ago and knew I needed to create a story there. WWLG went through multiple iterations before becoming a story of letting go and second chances.
Avery is all of us. She's a woman deeply affected by past experiences. Through her journey, and Elle's, the reader comes to understand the steps we must all take in order to live fuller lives.
Q: Can you say more about the novel’s setting?
A: Setting is another character in my novels. While initially I chose Vizcaya as the setting for the book, it was merely the starting point, and the plot ended up taking root in the North Carolina mountains.
This Florida girl spent her summers in Hendersonville, North Carolina, where my mother worked as head of girl's hill at a sleepaway camp. A nature girl at heart, I had always believed in its power of healing and grounding. I knew that Avery's own journey of recovery and self-discovery would involve the earth and a place that had given me my foundation.
Q: How would you describe the dynamic between Avery and Elle, the daughter of Avery's boyfriend?
A: They were my two favorite characters to write. Stubborn and broken, the unlikeliest allies, their shared grief drew them in and pushed them apart. Sometimes we're drawn to those who share our suffering, other times we don't want to see the mirror staring back at us.
Building their relationship and watching them let down their walls and boundaries was especially gratifying. The gifts they gave each other made for a satisfying finish.
Q: How was the book's title chosen, and what does it signify for you?
A: The original title we sold to the publishing house was Let Me Let Go. When We Let Go felt more universal and thought-provoking...imagine all that is possible when we let go of.....and fill in the blank here. For me, personally, we must let go of what weighs us down in order to truly move forward.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I am so excited about book 7, working title: What You Do To Me. This is the story of a Rolling Stone reporter on the hunt for the story behind a famous love song. Along the way, her own relationship is tested, and we're taken on a journey through forbidden love and mending past relationships (more letting go, I guess!). The novel releases Spring 2023.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: How grateful I am to do what I love to do. I've been a voracious reader my entire life--I still read two books at a time while writing--and I'm amazed that I'm able to provide the magic that others have given to me.
I'm also most grateful to the readers for having a choice and choosing my work. My wish is to continue sharing heartfelt stories with all of you. Thank you, Deborah. It's because of YOU, we write! Readers can connect with me at www.rochelleweinstein.com or social media.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb. Here's a previous Q&A with Rochelle B. Weinstein.