As clichéd as it sounds, Renée Rosen is a former advertising copywriter who always had a novel in her desk drawer. When she saw the chance to make the leap from writing ad copy to fiction, she jumped at it. A confirmed history and book nerd, the author loves all things old, all things Chicago and all things written.
Rosen's latest novel is Dollface, A Novel of the Roaring Twenties. From her Q & A with Janie Chang:
JC: Your latest book, Dollface, is set in 1920’s Chicago, a time that provides an author with rich material. What insights into this era did you want to give readers that they may not have known from all those Hollywood movies?My Book, The Movie: Dollface.
Renee: Hollywood typically focuses on the men of this era and I wanted to explore what it meant to be a young woman during the ‘20s. I wanted to show both the glamour and the grit of this era. It was such a liberating time for women, especially young women striving for independence. For the first time women we’re living on their own, working and supporting themselves. They were pushing boundaries and challenging conventions, which shocked the general public. I’m convinced that women bobbing their hair and wearing lip rouge was the equivalent of today’s twerking.
JC: In a previous interview, you said that you switched the focus of the story from the gangsters to their women. I’m so glad you did! What opportunities did the female POV open up for your writing?
Renee: Shifting the novel from a traditional gangster tale to a female driven story opened up a world of possibilities for me. The female characters really started to come alive. Suddenly they took on much more interesting roles and found themselves tangled up in everything from bootlegging to murder. Letting the women take center stage allowed them to...[read on]
Writers Read: Renée Rosen.
The Page 69 Test: Dollface.