As clichéd as it sounds, Renée is a former advertising copywriter who always had a novel in her desk drawer. When she saw the chance to make the leap from writing ad copy to fiction, she jumped at it. A confirmed history and book nerd, Renée loves all things old, all things Chicago and all things written.
A graduate of American University in D.C., Renée has contributed to many magazines and newspapers, including Chicago Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Complete Woman, DAME, Publisher’s Weekly and several other now sadly defunct publications. She is the author of Every Crooked Pot and Dollface, A Novel of the Roaring Twenties. She lives in Chicago where she is currently working on a new novel, What The Lady Wants coming from Penguin/NAL fall 2014.
I’m a former advertising copywriter, former marathon runner (desperately trying to get back into the groove) and formerly from Akron, Ohio. I’ve live in Chicago now and have for most of my adult life with a short break for a stint in New York. I’m a wee bit of a foodie, a complete history nerd and am convinced that I was born about 100 years too late!
WHAT? What do you enjoy doing other than writing in your spare time?
What spare time?! Seriously, because writing is so solitary, I find that when I’m not in the “Book Bunker”, I’m out with friends, meeting for cocktails and dinner and hanging out. I have a group of writers, booksellers and publishing people who regularly meet for an All-You-Can-Sushi lunch. I know this sounds like an inherently bad idea, but it’s one of Chicago’s best-kept secrets and these gatherings have evolved into our own version of the Algonquin Round Table. I’ve also recently taken up cooking and so far, I haven’t poisoned anyone!
WHEN? When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Strange as it sounds, I always knew I wanted to be a writer, even before I became a reader. I started writing my first novel when I was 17 and wrote about 5 others (that shall forever remain hidden in a drawer) before I was able to publish my first novel. It’s been a long road but so worth it!
WHERE? Where do you write?
I work from home and though I have an office area set up, I never work at my desk. I live in an old loft and have the world’s most comfortable couch and overstuffed chair. I’m also fortunate that when I need to, I can block out excess noise and distractions and have been known to do some of my best writing in airports and coffee shops.
WHY? Why do you write?
To the best of my knowledge I have no other marketable skills. And if I weren’t writing, what would I make of all these voices in my head? Seriously, writing for me is something I just need to do. Whenever I question why I do it, I keep this quote in mind by Elie Wiesel: “…if you can choose not to write, don’t. Nothing is as painful. From the outside people think it’s good; it’s easy; it’s romantic. Not at all. It’s much easier not to write than to write. Except if you are a writer. Then you have no choice.”
Thanks so much for joining us here at A Novel Review, Renee! It was fun getting to know you, your life sounds so grown-up and sophisticated! We wish you much success and look forward to hearing about your next novel!
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Now let's get to know Renee's new book!
Dollface: A Novel of the Roaring Twenties
by Renee Rosen
Vera Abramowitz is determined to leave her gritty childhood behind and live a more exciting life, one that her mother never dreamed of. Bobbing her hair and showing her knees, the lipsticked beauty dazzles, doing the Charleston in nightclubs and earning the nickname “Dollface.”
As the ultimate flapper, Vera captures the attention of two high rollers, a handsome nightclub owner and a sexy gambler. On their arms, she gains entrée into a world filled with bootleg bourbon, wailing jazz, and money to burn. She thinks her biggest problem is choosing between them until the truth comes out. Her two lovers are really mobsters from rival gangs during Chicago’s infamous Beer Wars, a battle Al Capone refuses to lose.
The heady life she’s living is an illusion resting on a bedrock of crime and violence unlike anything the country has ever seen before. When the good times come to an end, Vera becomes entangled in everything from bootlegging to murder. And as men from both gangs fall around her, Vera must put together the pieces of her shattered life, as Chicago hurtles toward one of the most infamous days in its history, the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.
Sounds amazing, doesn't it!!! I am really excited to read it (it is sitting on my nightstand calling my name). Make sure to order your copy, today!