Recently I finished With Friends Like These by Sally Koslow, and the writing was so fresh and insightful I had to see if I could interview her for Working Writers. And she agreed! Please join me in welcoming her.
Enjoy this interview.
I recently finished With Friends Like These and really enjoyed it. Was there something that prompted you to write the book? What type of response has it received thus far?
Friendship between women can be as difficult as it is rewarding. In With Friends like These I tried to capture the flavor of women’s friendship in the early 21st century, with characters facing situations that felt familiar. I stayed away from obvious love triangles and got into dilemmas where you can see right and wrong from both friends’ viewpoint, and also delved into something women rarely discuss, tension that arises when one friend has more money than the other. The response to the novel has been not only positive, but that it’s realistic, with readers relating to the situations. Readers have asked for a sequel! [Editor’s note: I’ll second that.]
You have had an impressive career in the magazine world (at Mademoiselle and Woman’s Day and also as the editor-in-chief of McCall’s), do you think your background was helpful at all in terms of the mechanics of writing. What I mean is, did you find the novel easier to write because you understood the “job” of applying seat to chair and writing each day?
Being a magazine editor gets you accustomed to making deadlines. I never find it easy to glue myself to my computer for hours on end, but if I don’t make it a habit, I’d get nothing done. I feel that writing is my job in the same way that editing, say, McCall’s was—and equally satisfying.
I’m finishing my first non-fiction book, The Wander Years: a public display of reflection, which takes a look from the baby boomer’s perspective at the lives of people in their 20’s and 30’s. After The Wander Years is completed I will finish my fourth novel, which is due in December. 2011 is a big year.
Later on, I’d love to set a book in another time period, because I enjoy historical novels and it would be fascinating to research one. I’d also like to see how trying to craft such a book would change my writing. The novel I’m writing now features a main character closer to my own age than the women in my previous books and the writing is emerging differently. I’m trying to coax wisdom out of this character that a younger woman wouldn’t as yet have acquired.
Where can we learn more about you?
If you visit my website, www.sallykoslow.com, you’ll find a great deal on all three of my novels: Little Pink Slips; The Late, Lamented Molly Marx and With Friends like These—book club discussion guides, the first chapter of each book, reviews and more. On the site, if you click through to “Essays Etc.,” I’ve posted much of my recent writing for magazines: articles and essays as well as blogs for Huffington Post, wowOwow and so on. There are also quite a few interviews and loads of pictures. More than you want to know about me, I’m sure.
Anything else you’d like to add?
The best reward an author can get is to know that your novel was discussed in a book club. With Friends like These and The Late, Lamented Molly Marx (selected by Target as a Book Pick) both lend themselves to lively conversation, so I hope that the readers of this terrific blog will consider them. If you do, I’d be happy to phone in and join the discussion. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.