Alyson Richman's Firsts and Lasts

The_Lost_WifeToday's guest: Alyson Richman Why we love her: She's writes beautifully! Can't wait to read her other novels!

Her book: The Lost Wife

The scoop on it: A rapturous novel of first love in a time of war-from the celebrated author of The Rhythm of Memory and The Last Van Gogh.

In pre-war Prague, the dreams of two young lovers are shattered when they are separated by the Nazi invasion. Then, decades later, thousands of miles away in New York, there's an inescapable glance of recognition between two strangers...

Providence is giving Lenka and Josef one more chance. From the glamorous ease of life in Prague before the Occupation, to the horrors of Nazi Europe, The Lost Wife explores the power of first love, the resilience of the human spirit- and the strength of memory.

Our thoughts: We were sucked in by this engrossing book about love and war!

Giveaway: 5 copies! Just comment to be entered to win. We'll select the winners after 12pm PST on Sunday, April 21st.

Where you can read more about Alyson: Her website, Facebook and Twitter.


Alyson Richman the lost wifeKISS:

First Kiss:   My first kiss was on the playground to a boy named Kevin Bisch when I was in the fourth grade.  We were standing in the middle of the grass clippings; he was this lanky kid with great hair, wearing a Doors t-shirt and a pair of wrangler cords.  There must have been some strange fertilizer in the grass that day, because we both ended up being writers.  He's now a screenwriter in LA.  Rumor has it, he's still wearing the same outfit.  Some of us just have an innate sense of style at nine.  Certainly not me!

Last Kiss:  This morning, as I was leaving to take the children to school, I pulled open the shower door and stole one from my husband. He still had shaving cream on his face and a head full of shampoo.


First Risk I took:   When I was sixteen, I tried out for the boys wrestling team in boarding school.  I was never much of an athlete, but I knew that I'd be good at wrestling since that's how I had to defend myself from my two brothers over the years. To get the full effect of this, you need to imagine that I looked very much like Gumby dressed in a Laura Ashley dress.  I'd change in the girls locker room into my singlet (wearing a turtleneck and tights underneath).  I think I won half my matches due to the sheer shock my appearance gave my competitors.

Last Risk I took:   Every book that I undertake has a certain element of risk.  "The Lost Wife" felt extremely risky for me because writing about the Holocaust is inherently very daunting.  You want to make sure that every aspect of the research is done properly.  For the entire book tour, every time a survivor raised their hand, I was petrified they were going to tell me I had made a mistake in the text regarding some historical detail.  You can't imagine how relieved I was to hear how they instead thanked me for writing the novel.


First Hell ya moment:  It has to be the moment my editor called and told me "The Lost Wife" was a best-seller.   For years, I always thought of myself as the writer who'd be driving around in a van handing out my books to whomever would take them.

Last Hell ya moment: Getting my last book contract.  It's so wonderful to now have the support of Penguin/Berkley for my next two books.  To feel like someone wants to invest in your career, after so many years of hard work, is immensely satisfying.


First Aha moment:   With writing, it had to be discovering that what you take out of your drafts is just as important as what you put in.   I always describe my editing process as taking a palette knife and carving out the mud.  For me, writing is very much like painting.  You need to find ways to bring light into an otherwise dense canvas.

Last Aha Moment:  When I was having a nervous breakdown about the first draft of my next book, “Dragonfly,” and I was complaining to my husband all the reasons I was overwhelmed with it.   He looked at me with great sensitivity and said:  "I've been married to you for fifteen years and you say the same thing with EVERY book you write.  It will work out.  You have time.  You can do it."  The boy deserves a medal.

Thanks, Alyson!