Wednesday, February 09, 2011

RiYA: Interview with Lorraine Zago Rosenthal + Giveaway of Other Words for Love (signed)

Today, I have Lorraine Zago Rosenthal with me! She’s the debut author of Other Words for Love which was recently published. Here is the interview:

What or who inspired you to write Other Words for Love? Why?

I was most inspired by the main character, Ari. I’m a character-driven writer, and I created Ari and her family before I had a clear picture of their story. When that story crystallized, I was inspired to write it. It was the story and characters that kept me going.

What was the message you left for readers in your debut novel?

I don’t have an agenda when I write. I simply tell the story of one person—in this case, Ari—and I believe that each individual reader will interpret the story in his/her own unique way. We all judge, analyze, and are affected by literature based on our experiences, values, and beliefs—so everyone will see this story differently. However, one thing that I think readers (especially young readers) might take from this story is that even if some things don’t work out as you had expected or hoped, you will still be okay, and maybe even better.

I heard you took Psychology in college! Did this course help you in writing a novel and understanding your characters, especially one in particular who will be experiencing break-up?

Yes, I earned my B.A. in psychology and I continue to read about that subject. I definitely applied this knowledge when writing about Ari’s thoughts and feelings when she goes through a painful breakup with her boyfriend, Blake. Knowledge of psychology always helps with crafting characters and their stories, because when creating a character’s personality and motivations, it’s important to know how the human mind works. OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE deals with several psychology-related issues, such as limerence, depression, and post-partum depression.

What kind of romance did you put in Other Words for Love? Clean and sweet or sexy and passionate?

Hmmmm….I’d say that it’s all of those things. Clean at first, sexy and passionate later, and always very sweet.

In writing a romance novel, do you have to take something from yourself (memories, experiences, feelings)?

OTHER WORDS FOR LOVE isn’t a romance novel, but it contains romantic elements. In regard to my own experiences, memories, etc., I think that all writers use a combination of personal experience, observation, and imagination in their work. I also have a vivid memory of how it feels to be a teenager!

How did you mold the first love relationship between Ari and Blake, to make it believable?

I allowed the relationship between Ari and Blake to unfold slowly. I allowed them time to get to know each other. Although they are of course attracted to each other physically, I also gave them emotional reasons and commonalities to draw them together. For example, they both feel pressured by their parents. Ari’s mother wants her to be an artist, and Blake’s father wants him to be a lawyer, and neither parent wants Ari and Blake to marry at a young age. But Ari and Blake have different ideas.

What was it like writing a blooming relationship that was transitioning to a more serious level? Why?

It was fun, challenging, and interesting! It’s really enjoyable to get inside a character’s mind, to figure out what he/she is thinking and feeling, and to transfer those emotions to the page.

Being an adult changes your perspective on romance and love. How do you manage to write romance for teens? What do you do?

I have a very vivid memory my teen years, so it isn’t difficult for me to think back and remember how it feels to be that age. It’s even easier to write from a teen perspective when I get into my character’s mind. When I’m writing, I see, hear, and experience what the characters do. I also listen to music when I’m writing. Two songs that captured the essence of what Ari was feeling for Blake when their relationship was going well are “Breathe Your Name” and “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer.

It’s almost Valentine’s Day! So I’ll ask a Valentine question: what is love, for you?

For me, it’s my husband who is also my best friend. 

Thank you for dropping by, Lorraine! :) I enjoyed the interview!

Giveaway: Signed Hardcover of Other Words for Love

*Giveaway Closed*

If you want a book about teen love, heartbreak and romance, you're in luck! Lorraine and her publisher offered a signed hardcover of her debut novel, Other Words for Love!  

When an unexpected inheritance enables Ari to transfer to an elite Manhattan prep school, she makes a wealthy new friend, Leigh. Leigh introduces Ari to the glamorous side of New York--and to her gorgeous cousin, Blake. Ari doesn't think she stands a chance, but amazingly, Blake asks her out. As their romance heats up, they find themselves involved in an intense, consuming relationship. Ari's family worries that she is losing touch with the important things in life, like family, hard work, and planning for the future.

When misfortune befalls Blake's family, he pulls away, and Ari's world drains of color. As she struggles to get over the breakup, Ari must finally ask herself: were their feelings true love . . . or something else?

Be a follower.
Comment with your email address!
Ends on February 28, 2011! Open to US only (sorry – prize will be shipped by the publisher. But if you have a US address or you have a friend in the US who can receive it for you, you can join.)

Entries (not required):
+1 spread the word – twitter or sidebar or both (please leave link)
+2 post the RiYA button with a link to this site (please leave link)
+2 blog about it (please leave link)


  1. Ohhh yay!!! Would love to read :)

  2. +1 Tweeted at!/LexieBookBug/status/35380908626415616
    +2 Posted the RiYA button on my blog at

  3. Would love to read this book; great interview & giveaway! :)

    +1 Tweet:


  4. This sounds great! Thanks for the interview and contest!

    I blogged about the contest here


  5. I've been really wanting to read this novel. Hearing such great things about it! It just looks adorable.

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  6. Can't wait to read this book...! I hope i win!

  7. I have really been wanting to read this one! Definitely count me in!

    I am a follower.

    +1 Sidebar:


  8. I have heard many great things about this book and I would love to read it.

  9. I really want to read this book! HOpe I win!!


  10. Oh i cant wait to read this, i hope i win! :D

  11. I so want to read this book! I've been seeing it around everywhere, and it looks absolutely lovely!!

    I tweeted the giveaway!/BasicallyBooks/status/35933048512069632

    and added it to my sidebar

    (Is that +1, for each?...)

    +3 total.

    basicallyamazingbooks [at]

  12. Those are great interview questions, so interesting! Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.
    I'm a follower
    methom @

  13. Seems like a good book.
    +1 Added on my sidebar

  14. Thank you for this giveaway!

    buoyread AT gmail DOT com

  15. Sounds Amazing! I'm a follower, my email is

  16. I'm a follower. Thanks for the giveaway! Spreaded the word (contest page):
    adannabanana at hotmail dot com

  17. Other Words for Love sounds wonderful! I can't wait to read it! Thank you so much for this contest!


  18. +1 Follower

    :) Thanks so much for this giveaway!


  19. Thanks for the giveaway! This book sounds amazing! I am a follower :)
    Button link:

  20. Would love to read it

    GFC follower

  21. Thanks for the great interview & giveaway!
    I am a follower and I tweeted the contest here:
    d.septer at

  22. This book looks really good, I'm excited to read it.
    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

  23. I'm a follower on GFC-Lisa Richards.


    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com!/alterlisa/status/41323493022765056