Friday, October 19, 2007

GCC Presents: Renee Rosen and Every Crooked Pot

Nina Goldman is the youngest of three growing up in Akron, Ohio in the 1970s. She and her siblings must cope with their eccentric, larger-than-life father Artie, a dreamer and schemer who commands constant attention with his outrageous antics and mortifying behavior.

As if growing up with Artie as a father isn’t difficult enough, Nina also faces another issue. Born with a hemangioma, a disfiguring birthmark covering her right eye, Nina constantly tries to look “normal,” and spends hours experimenting with makeup and Veronica Lake hairstyles designed to hide her bad eye. When none of those things do the trick, Nina finds herself riding in laundry dryers, appearing on TV, and navigating a host of other hilarious escapades, all in the name of fitting in.

Nina’s spirit never falters in this endearing story about a captivating misfit, her peculiar family, and the lengths to which a girl will go to feel loved by her family, friends, and ultimately herself. In this autobiographical novel, Rosen conveys a message of hope and belonging to all people who feel “different” in a world where everyone else belongs. With a profound message and a cast of irresistible characters, EVERY CROOKED POT is sure to become a classic in the hearts and minds of readers everywhere.

The Chicago Tribune calls ECP "heartfelt," and Publishers Weekly declares it "aborbing." Buy it here.

And, as always, we're lucky to have Renee here to answer a few pointed questions. Here ya go:

1) What’s the backstory behind your book?

Even though Every Crooked Pot is based in part on my childhood. I never thought to write about growing up with a strawberry birthmark over my eye until I enrolled in a week-long writing workshop with Michael Cunningham. This was long before he won the Pulitzer for The Hours. Anyway, Michael gave us an exercise about childhood memories and I jotted something down about how my father once used my eye to get out of a speeding ticket. Unbeknownst to me, I was writing what would later inspire the opening scene of Every Crooked Pot.

2) It seems that a lot of readers confuse fiction with real life, assuming that a novel must be an autobiography of the author as well. How many elements of your real life are reflected in your book?

Nina (my narrator) and I are similar in some very obvious ways. For example, we were both born with a disfiguring strawberry birthmark over our right eye--though her condition was much more severe than mine ever was. I also grew up in Akron, Ohio which is where the novel is set and a few other aspects of the story were taken from my life, but the rest is fictional. It's funny but so many people assume I'm Nina and several reviewers said the book reads like a memoir but I assure you, it's definitely a novel.

3) A lot of my blog readers are aspiring or new authors. How did you land your first book deal?

I found an agent who believed in me and most importantly believed in this book. She continued to work with me to polish the manuscript and then she searched until she found the right editor and publisher.

4) I have a serious procrastination problem when it comes to tackling my fiction. What’s your routine? How do you dive it? Do you have any rituals or necessary to-dos before or while you write?

You know, I used to have all kinds of things that had to be in place before I could write. But now that my writing time is so limited that I just grab the time when whenever and however I can--I've written in airports, hotel room, friend's couches, office building lobbies, while waiting in line at the post office--you name it. My laptop and I are now attached at the hip.

5) Clearly, your book will be optioned for a multi-million dollar film deal! Who would you cast as the leads, if you were given creative control?

Well, now if it were up to me, I'd just cast Patrick Dempsey in all roles. But seriously, I think Sandra could be Reese Witherspoon or Hilary Swank and I think Adrien Brody would make a fine Artie. Nina--is really tricky--what I need is a young Natalie Portman, ala Beautiful Girls.

1 comment:

Sara Hantz said...

Great interview. I can't wait to read the book.