Over the last several months, we Avaloners have undergone some major upheavals. Because of these changes, we have banded together in unique ways to support, encourage, and inform each other. One of the strongest allies to come forward from our circle is Barbara Morgenroth, and I'm pleased to sit down with her to get to know her even better.
With dozens of books available, Barbara is pleased to discuss one of her latest: INHIBITIONS.
Gina: Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me today. Tell us what inspired INHIBITIONS.
Barbara: I’m sorry to say I don’t remember since it’s a number of years ago. I wrote ARI AND THE DOCTOR to use up some of my experiences writing for daytime television and Jemima Blume appeared as Ari’s almost sister. I liked them both and decided to focus on a book on Jem. I had recently sold off part of the estate of a famous editor, Malcolm Cowley, and his Christmas card list was a who’s who of the artistic community of the 20th century. Since I also lived in Litchfield County, Connecticut, I became fascinated by these luminaries who are now gone. I have certainly been very inspired by my rabbi and all the wisdom I discovered through my relationship with him. Writing a novel is like creating the Bayeux Tapestry. It’s complicated. There’s a lot of history and life that happened before it’s begun.
Gina: INHIBITIONS definitely reflects a lot of research, and it's a fun journey for the reader! What has made all of your books so memorable for me were the characters. Your heroines tend to be strong, independent women. Is that a reflection on who you are?
Barbara: I’ve been told that and it was never a compliment. All my characters have a strong sense of self, but they’re all capable of great vulnerability. (Yes, Viva, even you.)
Gina: Ha. Sometimes our characters don't want to admit their foibles. What's a typical writing day for you?
Gina: And clearly, not a writing method that will work for everyone. Is there a significant message you want to convey in this book?
Barbara: Just be nice. It’s the same message in all my books.
Gina: If Hollywood called tomorrow, do you have certain stars you'd like to see play Jem and Jay? Care to share your dream casting?
Barbara: Since Jem is an indie filmmaker and her father had a fairly sordid affair with a starlet which practically destroyed Jem’s life, I think she’d want me to tell them to take a flying leap.
I honestly don’t know any of these people anymore. At one time I wanted to be a filmmaker but Hollywood has either changed so much or revealed its shallowness, that I don’t care. “Dignity is when the check clears” is about the best I can say about that business.
Gina: Do you plot your books or let them flow where they want?
Barbara: I know where I’m going. How I get there is always a surprise.
Gina: Any advice for newer writers or those just starting out?