Yona Zeldis McDonough is the author of novels such as A Wedding in Great Neck and You Were Meant for Me as well as dozens of books for children. She is the editor of and a contributor to The Barbie Chronicles: A Living Doll Turns Forty, as well as All the Available Light: A Marilyn Monroe Reader.
McDonough's latest novel is The House on Primrose Pond.
From the author's Q & A with John Valeri for Hartford Books Examiner:
John Valeri: What first inspired you to write “The House on Primrose Pond”—and, after six previous novels, what about this particular premise struck you as fresh and resonant?Learn more about the author and her work at Yona Zeldis McDonough's website.
Yona Zeldis McDonough: In the past, writing a novel began when I heard a voice—a character that was speaking in my ear—and this one was no different. The first voices I heard belonged to Susannah Gilmore, and her elderly neighbor, Alice Renfew. Susannah’s voice was both sad and angry; she was widowed when her husband was killed in a bicycle accident (and not wearing a helmet, despite her frequent nagging) and she moves from her home in Brooklyn to New Hampshire with a good deal of resentment. Alice’s voice is also sad and angry though both these emotions are more muted as she has had more time to live with, and adjust to, her emotions.
But there were some new elements here, including the setting (more on this later), the idea of a novel-within-a-novel, and the inclusion of three poems that form an essential part of the narrative—and which I had to write myself. I felt that these formal components forced me to go both wider and deeper than I had in the past. It was hard, but it was ultimately very satisfying.
JV: Your protagonist, Susannah, is a novelist. How were you able to draw upon your own career experiences to achieve authenticity—and what, in your opinion, makes writers innately intriguing characters?
YZM: I think it’s hard to make a writer...[read on]
Coffee with a Canine: Yona Zeldis McDonough & Willa and Holden.
Writers Read: Yona Zeldis McDonough.
The Page 69 Test: The House on Primrose Pond.
My Book, The Movie: The House on Primrose Pond.