Patricia Striar Rohner is a local author and snowbird who summers in Massachusetts and winters in Florida. Her new novel Tzippy the Thief: A Novel from She Writes Press is available now on pre-order through Amazon.
Tell me a little bit about who you are and where you live.
I’ve been writing short stories and observing people since I was a little girl. I owned and ran a gourmet kitchen shop called Billy Goat Ltd. in Newburyport, MA for ten years. At the age of 50 I returned to school, received my Masters at Simmons School of Social Work and worked for fifteen years as a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. In addition, I am a mother of 4 and grandmother of 12! I love the Boston Red Sox, golf, and oil painting.
Are there any favorite local spots you like to visit, ones that inspire your creativity?
Two inspiring spots are small bookshops where I can browse and leaf through novels and magazines. I love the smell of books! Another inspiring spot is the Boston Public Library where there is so much for me see and research. I am also inspired by a good movie or play.
Wow us with shock value. Is there anything about you that would surprise readers?
I am a recovered alcoholic and haven’t had a drink in 13 years.
What interested you to become a writer rather than something else such as neurosurgeon?
When I was young I loved to tell stories, mildly dirty jokes, and act in plays. I started to listen and observe people. I read lots of books and found myself moved by novels such as All Quiet on the Western Front. They taught me about the power of words. Over the years, I have published 7 short stories. Tzippy the Thief is my first novel.
If you could spend a day with any author, living or dead – who would it be and why?
If I could spend the day with an author it would be Richard Russo. I admire the way he tells a story and draws you into his world. His characters are fascinating, complex, and flawed. I’d ask him about my writing looking forward to his advice.
Does the area in which you live provide influence in your writing? How so?
New England is a beautiful area in which to write. The scenery and seasons are colorful and forever changing. The ocean and beaches serve as backdrops. I have lived in this area for 50 years; it’s home.
What is the most critical piece of advice you would give to new authors?
The most critical piece of advice I could give new authors would be to ask an editor to look at it. Then do the edit and rewrite. Put the novel or story away and then reread it. Get another opinion. Fresh eyes and a good night’s sleep help you look at things in a new way. Make sure you move the plot along.
Coming up with a title can be difficult. Tell me how you came up with yours.
I liked that Tzippy is a thief; literally and metaphorically. Explain this just a little… to tease the reader!
Are there more books coming from you in the future? Do tell!
I am in the process of writing three books. One, a children’s story with illustrations called Willameana the Witch. The second about a gay young man in the 1980’s… a time when it was not so easy to come out. And finally a story about a single mother. What about the single mother… what’s the catch here?
Where can people find more information on you and your projects?
My biography is on Amazon.com where you can preorder my novel, “Tzippy the Thief.” I also write a blog at www.Tzippy1228.com
She Writes Press
October 18, 2016
Paperback, 336 pp
Genre: Humor/Jewish Literature/Contemporary
Tzippy is a wealthy widow, feisty, determined, vain and living in Florida. Her three children will be visiting for Tzippy’s 80th birthday celebration and will be bringing with them the old wounds that Tzippy did more than her fair share to inflict. As her birthday approaches, the death of a close friend as well as the aches, pains and daily indignities of aging are preying on her mind. Tzippy wonders how she will be remembered?
Her relationship with her children is not good, particularly with Shari, her youngest and most screwed up. Shari is a problem drinker and still plagued by the eating disorder she’s had since adolescence. She always blamed her mother for her problems and lately Tzippy has had the uncomfortable feeling Shari may be right.
On the day of the party, on edge and anxious, Tzippy decides on a shopping trip to Saks which is always her quick fix, and while there, sees a brooch she wants, but not enough to pay for it. It finds its way into her purse and as she is making her get away―unlike the other times―she is caught and hauled off to the police station.
Now that Tzippy is turning 80, there is not an infinite amount of time left. Will She be able to repair the damage that has taken a lifetime to create?