Aug 19, 2013

Interview: New Money: A Novel by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal

New Money: A Novel by  Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
September 10th, 2013 from Thomas Dunne Books

Savannah Morgan had high hopes. She dreamed of becoming a writer and escaping her South Carolina town, where snooty debutantes have always looked down on her. But at twenty-four, she's become a frustrated ex-cheerleader who lives with her mother and wonders if rejecting a marriage proposal was a terrible mistake. Then Savannah's world is shaken when she learns the father she never knew is Edward Stone, a billionaire media mogul who has left Savannah his fortune on the condition that she move to Manhattan and work at his global news corporation. Putting aside her mother's disapproval, Savannah dives head first into a life of wealth and luxury that is threatened by Edward's other children--the infuriatingly arrogant Ned and his sharp-tongued sister, Caroline, whose joint mission is to get rid of Savannah. She deals with their treachery along with her complicated love life, and she eventually has to decide between Jack, a smooth and charming real estate executive, and Alex, a handsome aspiring writer/actor. Savannah must navigate a thrilling but dangerous city while trying to figure out what kind of man her father truly was.

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You can find Rosenthal at her website
Read my 5-star review of Other Words For Love HERE

NEW MONEY is your second novel, was it a hard transition to go from YA to adult?
When I wrote my first novel - OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE - I wasn't strictly targeting a teen audience. I believed that both YA and adult readers could relate to the story - and based on the feedback I have received from readers of many ages, this is true. The adult characters in that book - including the main character’s mother and twenty-three-year-old sister - play a major role in the novel and have their own back-stories. Some aspects of OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE are specific to the teen years, and others aren't.

Because OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE is a mature YA novel, I didn't find writing adult fiction to be particularly different; however, the major difference between the two novels is that OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE unfolds slowly and is quite introspective, while NEW MONEY is more of a commercial work that is rather fast-moving and - although it has serious aspects - is more lighthearted than OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE. So the biggest transition was writing in a different style - but I really enjoyed it. I think it’s important for an author to be versatile and to constantly challenge herself.

NEW MONEY is set in NYC like OTHER WORDS, what is it about that city that drew you back?
I’m originally from NYC and know it well, so I enjoy writing about that setting and its subcultures, as I did in OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE. In NEW MONEY, the main character (Savannah Morgan) moves from a quiet town to a chaotic city, and Manhattan vs. Charleston (North vs. South) is a contrast that sparks a lot of conflict.

If you woke up one day and found out your father was rich and/or famous, who would you want him to be?
That’s a tough one! I can’t think of a specific person, but a powerful Hollywood type would work. You know - tickets to the Oscars and everything! Wouldn't it be great to walk on the red carpet?

Savannah has a rough go with her new siblings. Who was the most fun to write?
Savannah definitely has it rough with her half-siblings - Ned and Caroline Stone - who are not at all pleased that Savannah has - as they view it - unjustly invaded their world. These characters deliberately come on strong as soon as they meet Savannah, because they are hoping to scare her away. Her newly-discovered existence has disrupted their lives, and they want her to disappear. Ned and Caroline are similar in some ways and quite different in others, so it was interesting to create their personalities and their interactions with Savannah. They were equally fun to write, but writing the clashes between Savannah and Ned was particularly amusing.

Tell us about book two - title yet?
Not yet! And I can’t reveal anything about the storyline, but I can say that the second book will be filled with twists and turns just like the first!

Thank you, Lorraine!