Rosalind Noonan has a firm foothold on becoming one of the finest authors of family drama and suspense. One of five children raised in an Irish family, she has traveled Europe and worked as a senior editor for Simon and Schuster. Today, she resides with her NYPD-retired husband and her children in Oregon.
Rosalind first entered the world of published author with a number of pocket books such as “Sarah: don’t say you love me” (based on the then hit TV series “Party of Five”). “Whispers From the Past,” based on the TV series “Charmed,” became a fan favorite.
The release of “One September Morning,” the tale of a murderer obsessed with living the life of the soldier he kills, and the widow determined to learn how her husband really died in Iraq, cemented Rosalind’s departure from pocket books. “In a Heartbeat” took readers on a dramatic journey into an unconscious youth’s relationships and a mother’s changing perspective of her marriage and life.
Now, “All She Ever Wanted” has been released. This absorbing story of a new mother’s dreams shattered by postpartum depression exemplifies the author’s ability to see inside us and explore the darkest, and ultimately, the brightest corners of life.
Q. Your life appears to be filled with joy and love. What inspired you to write such dramatic and poignant stories?
A. I do savor the joy and love in life! I had been working on series fiction based on characters created and owned by someone else. That was a great experience – the ultimate writer’s workshop with the bonus of being paid to see the world through Julia in “Party of Five” or Phoebe from the much-beloved “Charmed” series. I loved those characters! When I wrote those books I was working as an editor and learning the craft of writing. When people asked me about the “big novel,” I realized I didn’t have anything important that I wanted to say.
In September 2004, the government reported 1,000 U.S. military casualties in Iraq. I was chatting with friends in a coffee shop when the subject came up, and the statistic surprised me. Were we at war? A friend downplayed it, saying that one thousand deaths was not a big deal for a country like the United States. I think my jaw dropped at that, and I remember being so perplexed that I couldn’t voice an answer. That was the catalyst for my first novel, “One September Morning.” It took me awhile, but at last, I have something to say.
Q. As your fame increases, have you encountered folks a tad concerned that you might turn their lives into a story?
A. Ha! I love the image of people worried about a soul-sucking, demonic story-stealer! Usually it’s exactly the opposite. Some people approach me with stories they think would make a great book, and others are delighted to see shades of themselves in my characters. But my characters are pure fiction. Real life provides inspiration, mannerisms, attitudes, but my characters are drawn from a combination of sources. If anyone is depicted in one of my novels, it’s me; as the author, I have to draw on the emotions and voices in my head. Crazy business, isn’t it?
Page 2 of 2 - Q. The depth of postpartum depression covered in “All She Ever Wanted” is chilling. Why tackle this subject?
A. Although postpartum depression is a very real crisis for many new mothers, I don’t think our society has taken it seriously yet. Some people I’ve spoken with admit that they don’t understand it. Others view PPD as some type of character flaw or laziness. I wanted to bring this issue to light by putting the reader into the life of a woman suffering from postpartum depression. The early feedback based on Advanced Readers Copies has been exciting for me, with some reviewers going into detail about their own experiences with PPD. It’s as if these readers were waiting for a chance to vent about the ways this crippling depression affected their families. To hit a chord that way – that’s a writer’s dream.
Q. “All She Ever Wanted” has been recommended for book club discussion. How does it feel knowing people will discuss your work in unvarnished detail?
A. I am thrilled and honored that these readers are picking up my book. Beyond that, I try not to think about it too much. Really. OK, I’m thinking about it now, and suggesting that book club members should have another glass of wine, as long as they are getting a ride home. We all want the happy ending.
Q. Any parting comments for fans and potential new readers?
A. A word of reassurance that I won’t try to capture your soul in my next book? Or maybe I will. I think that’s one of the marks of my favorite writers. Novelists like Stephen King and Jodi Picoult seem to have a finger on the pulse of society. They tap into the collective consciousness and mirror our anxieties and fears in their writing – and they do it so well. That’s my challenge.
DA Kentner is an award-winning author. www.kevad.net