Read the chatscript from Barbara Rogan’s September 6, 2013 visit to #litchat here.
Former literary agent turned novelist Barbara Rogan gives readers an inside look at publishing in her new mystery, A Dangerous Fiction. On the surface, A Dangerous Fiction has everything mystery lovers crave—compelling characters, intriguing setting, a myriad of potential villains, tension and twists. Between the lines, however, the novel says so much more.
Jo Donovan, head of a prestigious New York literary agency is young, beautiful, and extremely good at her job. She’s also a widow. That she’s the widow of a contemporary icon of literature shapes who she is, but doesn’t define her. Or does it? The reliability of the narrator is crucial to the discovery of the story threaded through the subtext, creating a protagonist both sympathetic and enviable.
As the wife of the Hemingway-esque Hugo Donovan, Jo was more than just a trophy 20 years his junior. She was already a rising star at his literary agency before leaving the agency to become his wife and muse during their dozen years of marriage. Her return after his death to take over at the insistence of the ailing matriarch, Molly, fuels the surface fires, while her inner critic accepts and rejects memories as deftly as she does manuscripts on the job.
In the first few pages of A Dangerous Fiction, Jo is nearly assaulted by a writer whose manuscript the agency rejects. After it becomes apparent the writer is stalking her, and then people close to her are murdered, suspicion is cast on everyone in Jo’s circle. When a writer working on a biography of her late husband begins probing into raw areas and provokes uncertain memories in Jo, she must evaluate the truth in the carefully crafted manuscript of her life.
The official publishing bio: Barbara Rogan is the author of eight novels, including Suspicion and Hindsight (Simon & Schuster). Her books have been translated into a dozen languages, featured by the major book clubs, optioned for movie and television and issued as audio books and ebooks. Barbara has also worked extensively in publishing. She started as an editor for a large New York publisher. After moving to Israel, she was the founder and, for 12 years, director of the Barbara Rogan Literary Agency. During that period, she served on the Board of Directors of the Jerusalem Book Fair. After returning to the U.S., Barbara taught fiction writing at Hofstra University and currently teaches for Writers Digest University and in her own online school, Next Level Workshops, where she also offers editing services to fiction writers. She’s a frequent lecturer on both the business and craft of writing and teaches seminars and master classes at writers’ conferences.
Follow Barbara Rogan on Twitter: @RoganBarbara.