Author Interview: Lorraine Zago Rosenthal (Other Words for Love)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 |

Books (Young Adult):
  • Other Words for Love (2011)

Lorraine Zago Rosenthal:
Lorraine Zago Rosenthal was born and raised in New York City. She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in education from the University of South Florida. She also earned a master's degree in English, with a concentration in American and British literature, from Northern Kentucky University. In addition to writing fiction, Lorraine enjoys reading, exercising, watching movies, and spending time with her husband. Other Words for Love is her first novel.

Other Words for Love:
When an unexpected inheritance enables Ari to transfer to an elite Manhattan prep school, she makes a wealthy new friend, Leigh. Leigh introduces Ari to the glamorous side of New York--and to her gorgeous cousin, Blake. Ari doesn't think she stands a chance, but amazingly, Blake asks her out. As their romance heats up, they find themselves involved in an intense, consuming relationship. Ari's family worries that she is losing touch with the important things in life, like family, hard work, and planning for the future.

When misfortune befalls Blake's family, he pulls away, and Ari's world drains of color. As she struggles to get over the breakup, Ari must finally ask herself: were their feelings true love . . . or something else?

How does it feel being a 2011 debut author?
It feels fantastic! I’m very grateful that I can share OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE with readers. What makes the experience even better is that I’ve received so much support from the book blogging community and fabulous feedback from those who have read an advance copy of the novel. Knowing that readers are enjoying the book and connecting with the story and its characters makes all of the hard work worthwhile.

What was the road to publication like?
It was quite long! I began writing the novel in early 2008, and it was sold to Random House/Delacorte in early 2009—so the entire journey has been about three years. There has been a lot of work and ups and downs along the way, but I’m so happy that I’ve reached the finish line.

How old did you start writing?
I became an avid reader when I was six years old, and from there my love of reading turned into a desire to create my own stories and characters. I began writing fiction when I was about eleven, but my interest really intensified when I was in high school. That was when I was sure that I wanted to become a writer.

What made you decide to write young adult contemporary?

It wasn’t really a conscious decision to write a YA novel—I just wrote a story about a girl who happens to be a teenager. I’ve always enjoyed writing about teenaged protagonists, because that period in life is filled with so much excitement, frustration, anxiety, and hope. It’s an age when people feel things much more deeply than they ever will again—which is positive in some ways, and negative in others. The teen years are rich with material for an author, and it’s great to develop a young adult character and watch her learn and mature. Regarding writing in the contemporary/realistic genre, I guess it’s because I don’t know enough about vampires to write a paranormal! Paranormal, dystopian, etc. are extremely creative and imaginative genres, but they aren’t my area of expertise. I have always written realistic fiction, and I will continue to do so.

Did you have any input to the cover of Other Words for Love? What do you think of it?
I didn’t have any input into the cover, but I absolutely love it! I’m so happy that the cover image reflects the New York setting as well as the intimacy of the story being told. I think that the cover accurately depicts both the romantic and serious aspects of the novel, which was what I’d hoped for.

Are you somewhat like Ari?
I think that writers put themselves into many of their characters, and not only the protagonist. There are some similarities between me and Ari—we both grew up in New York, we both attended a prep school, and we both have an artistic ability. For Ari, it’s drawing, and for me—it’s writing.

What is your most memorable experience?
Hmmm…that’s a question with quite a few answers! I have many memorable experiences, but in regard to my book and the publication process, one of the most memorable experiences was when I was offered representation by my agent, Elizabeth Evans. When you’re a new author writing a novel, you put so much hard work into the manuscript without knowing if that work will ever pay off. It’s really a gamble, because you don’t know if you’ll find an agent and if you’ll be published. So when Elizabeth called me and expressed her enthusiasm for my novel, I was thrilled. Finding someone who understood, valued, and believed in my work was a very memorable experience.

What's next for you?
I’m planning to just keep writing! I’m currently working on another YA novel that is also set in New York.

Thanks so much to Lorraine for stopping by! Other Words for Love just hit shelves yesterday so be sure to buy a copy!


J├ęssica said...

Great interview! I'm so excited about this book. I've heard amazing things. Lorraine is a sweetie!

RK Charron said...

Hi :)
Thank you for the interview with Lorraine!
Congratulations to Lorraine for the release yesterday.
Yay! for another YA novel coming.
All the best,

~The Book Pixie said...

Lorraine did end up with a great cover but I still wish authors could get more say in what they're cover looks like. XD. Great interview girl. :D


Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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