Guest Author: Renee Rosen

Guest Author: Renee Rosen

Today we’re hosting the lovely Renee Rosen, a GCC author who is touring her first book, Every Crooked Pot.

LOOK at this cover.


Isn’t that a beautiful cover? Don’t you just want to know more about the beautiful girl who hides half of herself?

Well, it turns out you can find out more about the girl AND about the author at the same time, as the work is based on her own life.

Here’s a little bit more about EVERY CROOKED POT.

FIRST of all, look at these reviews!

“… a beautifully nuanced tale about an extraordinary family and an even more extraordinary young woman. Not since Myla Goldberg’s Bee Season has a first novel so deftly captured the complexities, joys, and frustrations of daughters and their families. It’s hard to believe this is a debut – Rosen’s voice is already as good as it gets. Keep an eye out for this rising star.” Sara Gruen, New York Times #1 bestselling author of Water for Elephants

“In a debut novel that could easily have been published as a…memoir, Rosen looks back at the life of Nina Goldman, whose growing up is tied to two pillars: a port-wine stain around her eye and her inimitable father, Artie. The birthmark, she hates; her father, she loves. Both shape her in ways that merit Rosen’s minute investigation….”–Booklist (starred review)

What are they talking about?

In her unforgettably heartwarming debut, novelist Renée Rosen brings the coming of age story to a whole new level of sensitivity, depth and humor. EVERY CROOKED POT goes beyond typical teen angst to reveal a quirky, lovable main character whose struggles and triumphs speak volumes on what it means to love oneself in the face of insecurity, self-consciousness.

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.

Renée Rosen worked in Chicago as an advertising copywriter and freelance writer and consultant. She has studied with Susan Minot, Carol Anshaw, and the Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, Michael Cunningham. She has contributed to many magazines and newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Complete Woman, DAME Magazine, Publishers Weekly, and Chicago Magazine. Renee grew up in Akron, Ohio and now lives in Chicago where she is hard at work on a new novel.

Laura: Now I could go on with pages of great reviews of this novel, but instead I am going to send you straight to her website for those, while WE ask a few questions of the author. Renee, if you could change one thing that you have done in your writing/publishing history, what would it be? Or, another way of thinking about this, if you could warn unpublished authors away from any one error, what would it be?

Renee Rosen: I would remind them that at the end of the day, publishing is a business and encourage them to familiarize themselves with how the business side of how publishing works. Also I would encourage them to really think about building their readership over the course of several books.

Laura: When you need to take a break from writing, clear your head, and get the creative juices flowing again, whether for half an hour in the day or for longer periods, what do you do?
Renee Rosen: I go for walks. I’ll just walk around my neighborhood and take in the fresh air, do some people watching, put on my writer-vision and see the things I’d normally overlook; little cracks in the sidewalk, or the crumbled up pack of cigarettes. I’ll think about how a particular character would describe them and that sort of observation seems to get me unstuck and recharge my battery. Then I can come back and pick up where I left off, but with all kinds of new insights.

Laura: Isn’t walking wonderful? The temperature has finally dropped below 90 here, so I feel a renewed love of it. Speaking of myself, as I often do, I draw very strongly on my own experiences for my writing, sometimes in large ways (a memoir!), sometimes in ways that are very subtle. What is an experience of yours that fed into this book?
Renee Rosen: Since Every Crooked Pot is semi-autobiographical, Nina and I share a lot of similar traits. For example, we were both born with a disfiguring strawberry birthmark or port-wine stain over our right eye and like Nina, I went through a lot of experimental medical procedures. I consciously used a lot of the pain I felt growing up and looking ‘different’ and then channeled that into Nina’s character. I don’t think you can help but bring some of your own history into a novel–whether it’s done consciously or not.

Laura: Well, I definitely can’t! Thanks for coming on, Renee. I’m a big memoir fan, as you know, so I’m really looking forward to reading Every Crooked Pot.

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