Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Author Feature: Rosalind Noonan

Current Read: What current read? School's out and I'm still trying to submit requested partials...

Today, I'm pleased to welcome author Rosalind Noonan! Please give her a big round of Armchair Heroines e-applause.

Welcome Rosalind. Tell us about ONE SEPTEMBER MORNING.

The novel begins when Abby learns that her husband John, who left a successful career playing for the NFL to enlist after 9/11, has been killed in Iraq. When Abby investigates the circumstances of John's death it becomes clear that he was shot by someone in his platoon. At the same time we see the grief caused by John's death sweep through family and friends, including his father who served in Vietnam, his mother who has always felt at home in military communities, his brother Noah who is a fellow soldier, his younger sister Madison who has been protesting against the war. The story spins into a mystery suspense plot toward the end, which was a lot of fun to write.

Sounds wonderful. Is this your first novel?

SEPTEMBER is my first novel, which is exciting and nerve wracking. I was so vested in this book that I used my own name on it, which had a wonderful silver lining: friends that I've lost touch with over the years have found the book and contacted me. It's better than a school reunion! My friend Audi from college, Kathy K from St. Philip Neri, my sorority sisters and other alums from Wagner College have been in touch, and I'm hoping to visit with them in the future.

Although this is my first novel, I am no stranger to publishing. I was an editor at Silhouette Books in its infancy, and have written dozens of books under various pseudonyms, including Carolyn Keene, Roz Bailey, Carly Alexander. Look me up on Amazon and you'll see a CHARMED book I did years ago that's still selling well. I'm still not sure how my real name got on that one...

You're a pro! While you write and work on a specific book do you find you enter that world?

When I'm working on a book I do enter that world, which might explain why it takes me so long to finish the first hundred or so pages of a book. Although I work from an outline, there's still a fair amount of world building and character dimension/backstory that needs to happen, and for me that takes place in the first painful century of pages. Sometimes during that stage of writing I have to make some significant changes to characters, add or cut a character, to make things work. I envy those writers who say that they sit down and the characters just run away with a scene or use them as a means to channel through! A lot of my time is spent molding and psychoanalyzing my people. The up side of this in my process is that if I do the heavy building up front, the second half of the manuscript flows for me.

Do you have a mantra or favorite saying in relation to your writing?

My goal is to entertain, educate a little and build empathy -- my three Es. On a more mundane level, I always say you just have to get it down on paper -- do the sloppy copy -- and then you can go back and rewrite, slash and burn. I think we would all love to have perfect prose flow from our fingertips, however if you don't have something flawed to work with, don't have a story.

Good point. Just get it down! What's next for Rosalind Noonan?

In November 2009, Kensington is publishing SNOW ANGELS, an anthology led by Fern Michaels. My contribution is a novella called MIRACLE ON MAIN STREET, which was inspired by my husband's twenty plus years with the NYPD. The setting brought me back to my old stomping grounds in Flushing, Queens. The sights, the sounds, the roar of the subway trains, the smell of the pretzel was very nostalgic for me, and I enjoyed writing a story in which a longstanding romance is reawakened.

As I write this I'm working on a novel slated for publication in 2010. It's a family drama that will be stylistically similar to ONE SEPTEMBER MORNING, but it's a very different, much smaller world, this one set in Syracuse, NY. One of the bonuses of this story is a developing romance between my main character Kate and the detective who's trying to help her pin her son's attacker. This one was a bear to start, but I've reached page 100 -- insert happy dance here! -- so I'm starting to get a handle on these characters.

Those both sound great. Old flame stories are my favorite! Finish this sentence : I'm happiest when......

I've just finished a book and I've nailed it! The characters, the twists, the ending...when it all comes together and I've finally got it on paper after carrying these things in my head for so long, the adrenaline rush is tremendous. My kids are usually happy when I nail it, too, because that means I can leave my cave and resume cooking, carpooling, road trips, etc.

Ain't that the truth?! Read any good books lately?

I just finished Anna Quindlen's BLACK AND BLUE for the second time, and I don't reread books very often to that's a rave. I enjoyed it on a different level, realized it's somewhat picaresque in structure. Anna Quindlen creates scenes, characters and impressions in such a complete yet compact way. She is one of the great American writers.

And have you read Nora Roberts' ANGELS FALL? That book transported me last summer. Her romantic suspense novels always deliver, and there's something about the worlds she builds that just makes you want to go there.

Hear that Armchair Heroines? Two more books for your "to be read" piles. :0) What is one thing you love to do in the summer?

Summer is my favorite time of year! I love to sit on the dock and read, swim in the lake, stretch out in the sun and dream. (Oops...I think that's way more than one!) Sometimes my husband and I walk for miles on the beach, and there is nothing quite like that total plunge into a salty wave. I guess we're water people!

I used to go to Nantucket as a nanny in the summer. Going back and hearing the ocean always made me feel like I was returning to an old I'm in landlocked Colorado (but it's beautiful). :0)

Rosalind, thank you so much for being here and best of luck to you.

AHers, thanks to the generous folks over at Kensington Publishing, I have TWO ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) of ONE SEPTEMBER MORNING to give away. Leave a comment about your favorite summer things, good books you've read lately or ask Rosalind a question and you'll be entered in the contest. The winners will be announced right here on Friday!
Sorry, ladies, I had this set to post automatically yesterday and it didn't!
Congratulations to:
Robyn L
You are the lucky winners of the One September Morning ARCs. I have your addresses (as past winners - congrats) so I'll get your books in the mail on Monday!
A huge thank you to Rosalind for spending some time with us here at AH, and as always, thank you to all of you readers out there!
Have a great weekend!


Dina said...

Hi Rosalind,

Congrats on your book.
I just like to spend time w/my grandkifs in the summer, maybe go to the zoo, park, watch his baseball games, just watch them grow. Winter is my time, lol.

Tiffany James said...


You're up and at 'em bright and early this morning! :0) I love to read, read, read in the summer. It's also playtime with my kiddos.

Great to *see* you!


Helen Hardt said...

Wow, Rosalind, you're such an inspiration! What wonderful success you've had ;).

My favorite summer thing is eating outside on our deck. Coffee in the a.m. with my hubby, and dinner with my family in the p.m. So pleasant!


Chiron said...

Hello Rosalind!

'One September Morning" sounds like an amazing book. "Miracle on Main Street" appeals to me too, I always enjoy reading about past loves reconnecting.

My question is do you plot out your mystery/suspense in advance?


Oh, and my just finished read is "I'd Rather Be In Paris" by Misty Evans.

Chiron O'Keefe
The Write Soul:

Roz said...

Thanks to Dina and Helen for some fun ideas. I haven't been to the Oregon Zoo for awhile but I have nephews visiting soon!

Good question, Chiron. Yes, yes, I map out mystery and suspense elements in advance. I always work from an outline. Without my map, I would forget to drop in clues, give suspects equal due, and would probably lose the thread of the mystery. I'd be lost without my outlines!


Roz said...

Breaking news! I just heard from my editor today and my next novel is going to be called... drumroll, IN A HEARTBEAT. We've debated various titles for awhile, but Kensington's sales dept. likes this one. Phew! It's my current fave, too!


Tiffany James said...


Great to see you. We practically live on our deck in the summer! Love, love, love it (sung in a really bad falsetto). :0)

Isn't Roz great? I'm so excited to have her visiting today!


Tiffany James said...

Hi, Chiron!

Good question! Gol, I hate plotting...right now it's the bane of my existence.

Thanks for joining us!


Tiffany James said...


Amazing news and I'm thrilled to have you share it with us today! I'm already wondering more about it. :0)

Yes, ladies and gentleman, you heard it here at Armchair Heroines!


Chiron said...

Thanks so much for answering my question and I love your new title!! Yay for you!

Chiron O'Keefe
The Write Soul:

Roz said...

More news...I just got off the Hallmark Channel website, looking at their original movies, which seem warm and engaging. I wanted to check them out because yesterday I heard from a producer in LA who would like to pitch one of my holiday stores there. The book THE SECRET LIFE OF MRS. CLAUS is about a Mrs. Claus suit that brings magic to the women who wear it. Christmas in June -- weird, I know! Trying to restrain my excitement and dreams of visiting the set, who would be cast, etc.
Fingers crossed...or maybe I need a Mrs. Claus suit of my own!

Roz said...

BTW, that's a holiday STORY. Brain faster than fingers!
For MRS. CLAUS I wrote under the name Carly Alexander -- my kids are Carly and Alex.


Tiffany James said...

Holy cow, Roz (or maybe that should be holy Clause)!

You are just full of amazing news today. :0) Congratulations and thanks for sharing with us!


robynl said...

wow, congrats on the book and the new title of another book.

Favorite summer things are eating watermelon(love it!!!), sitting on the swing in our screened tent, head back, eyes shut and relaxing listening to the birds singing.
Another fav is a fire in our fire pit and a weiner roast/marshmallow roast out in the open calm night air. The fire sparks shooting up into the air.

Dina said...


Sometimes I like to catch my fav site before work, it is realaxing then off to work and stress.

Thank you in advance Rosalind, looking forward to reading your book. Your title has a different meaning for me, but know I'll enjoy it.

Congrats Robynl. :)

Dina said...

Forgot to add I am looking forward to Snow Angels too, love holiday stories.