“With her trademark wit and wisdom, Marilyn Simon Rothstein brings us her most delightful and disarming heroine yet in Lauren Leo, a jilted fortysomething bride who finds her superpower. Fun, funny, and smart, Crazy to Leave You will keep you turning the pages and aching to offer your own shoulder to cry on as Lauren turns her tale of woe into a tower of strength. If you haven’t yet experienced the sheer joy of a Marilyn Simon Rothstein novel, this is a perfect place to start.”
—Jamie Brenner, author of Blush
Thank you, Marilyn, for taking the time to interview with us at Henlit Central! We hope our readers enjoy getting to know you and your latest book, Crazy to Leave You.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your published books.
Crazy to Leave You is my third book. Crazy to Leave You is the story of Lauren Leo. She is forty-one and works in advertising in New York. She wants to marry and have a family, but she is left at the altar. She goes across the street, sits in a diner, eats a copious amount of carbs, and watches her guests depart the wedding venue. Humiliated, but determined not to wallow, Lauren Leo faces a flamboyant sister who won’t leave, a judgmental mother who insists Lauren freeze her eggs, and deep self-doubt over whether she’ll ever “Say Yes” to anyone about anything ever again. Crazy to Leave You is one woman’s route to accepting herself as she is, feeling at long last worthy, and finding love—in unexpected places.
My first novel was Lift and Separate followed by Husbands and Other Sharp Objects. Both feature Marcy Hammer, a woman in her fifties who is married to Harvey the Bra King.
I grew up in Flushing, New York, and went to public schools. There was one tree in front of my house. I moved to Connecticut, and three bears just sashayed into my garage and walked off with a bag of garbage.
Tell us about the genre you like to write, and how is it similar / different from other women fiction genres?
I write about contemporary women and families. Humor is key. I am happiest when a person reads my book in bed and tells me she had to go to another room because her laughter was keeping her husband awake.
What are some of the biggest challenges hen lit authors face today?
Arthritis. Grown children who come home to live.
When did it dawn on you that you wanted to be a writer?
I’m pretty sure I knew it in the womb.
Do you have a day job other than being a writer?
I majored in journalism, began my career as a magazine writer, became a copywriter, then owed an advertising agency for over twenty-five years. I write novels full-time now.
What are some things that inspire you to write?
My love of writing inspires me. There aren’t many things I prefer to do. For insurance, I belong to a writer’s group that meets once a week. It helps me to know I have pages due.
What is your typical writing routine like?
What’s a routine? I’ll have to look that word up in the dictionary.
What kind of message do your books convey to readers?
You can wipe your eyes and choose to laugh. There is humor in almost everything. The worse day of your life can be the best thing that ever happened to you. You are enough.
Do your books incorporate certain aspects of your own life (and / or that of others)?
Yes. I write about women with families. And guess what? I am a woman with a family—two married daughters, three grandchildren. I write about marriage. I’ve been married 45 years which is amazing because I am only thirty-seven. I write about everyday topics such as removing contact lenses before getting on a scale (not that I have any personal experience with such a thing). Also, my protagonists rarely exercise.
Who are some of your favorite authors and why?
Since I became published, my favorite authors are the community of novelists I have come to know. I meet them in New York or when I travel to speak about my books. We support each other. Some I know from social media and Zoom conferences. There is one writer who calls me her best friend forever—one day I hope to meet her.
Any advice you’d like to give for aspiring writers at this stage in life?
The only way to write a book is to write it. Join a workshop. Keep going and never give up.