Publisher: Assent Publishing
Publication Date: December 15, 2013
Book Links: Barnes & Noble
Synopsis: In the man's world of 1955, Celina is determined to resist her Polish-American family's coal mining tradition to gain a life and love of her own. In this elegant story placed in a 1950’s Pennsylvania mining town, Celina, a twenty-three-year-old pink collar worker, juggles her family’s old world values with her desire to become a journalist. When Hungarian immigrant Stephen Meszaros comes into her life, they become a couple. Her parents are thrilled and naturally they expect the couple to live nearby, but Stephen and Celina have envisioned a very different future.
Interview: 1. Please tell us about the inspiration for your current release.
A number of issues motivated me to write A Woman’s Role.
I’ve always been fascinated with the rapid pace of change in the twentieth century. Each decade is fascinating, and utterly different from all the others. The fifties, for example, are unlike either the forties or the sixties in everything from fashion to politics.
The diversity of ethnic groups came into play when I traveled to my own ancestral homeland, Poland, a few years ago. I came to a new appreciation of the struggle so many immigrants had when they made their way to America at the turn of the twentieth century. In turn, their children, first and second generation Americans, continued striving to climb the ladder of success.
Those two ideas led me to write a novel about a second generation American determined to find her role in society during the 1950s.
2. How did writing this book affect you?
Writing this book affected me in that I came to a greater appreciation of the resilience and inner strength of women as they dealt with the foibles of the society they were born into. Few people recognize that women in the 1950s wanted home, family, and greater equality. Those wants didn’t simply burst on the scene years later with the women’s movement. The foundation was laid in the ‘40s, and 50s.
And I reiterate that I gained so much respect for my own forebears and the effort they put into creating a better life for themselves and their children.
3. Is there anything you haven’t written about that you would like to in the future?
I would like to delve more deeply into how women coped with the ups and downs of the changing economy of the twentieth century, while falling in love, raising a family, and being active in their communities.
The decades of the 1930s and 1940s are of particular interest to me.
4. Which of your characters would you want to be and why?
In A Woman’s Role, it would have to be Celina. She overcame her almost automatic deference to the authority figures in her life. In spite of her own weaknesses he had an inner core of strength that kept her going. I admire that.
5. Do you plan any subsequent books?
Yes, I plan to do a book set in the late 1940s which will explore how women loved, lost, and loved again while coping with being sent home to their kitchens—after they were pulled into every branch of industry during WWII. Another book I have in mind is one set in the early 1930s, when the great depression slammed America, and women coped with dire circumstances, all the while loving men whose incomes had been drastically altered.
6. What are you currently reading?
Several books sit next my favorite chair. I read a fair amount of non-fiction, and I’m currently reading For bread with butter by Ewa Morawska. It is about immigrant life in Johnstown, Pennsylvania at the turn of the twentieth century. I belong to a book club at the Robinson Township Library, near Pittsburgh, and we focus on historical novels. Recently we’ve read The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell, and A Christmas Garland by Anne Perry.
7. All the books you’ve read, which book has impacted you most?
It’s difficult to pinpoint a single book, but I remember, in grade school, the first book I ever read that had no pictures, Star the Story of an Indian Pony. I don’t remember the author. It must have had an impact because it took me to another world and from that time I have loved to read. In high school I read my first romance, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. And it set me on the course of reading historical romances.
8. How do you like to spend your spare time?
My 91 year-old-mother is still with us and my husband and I take many short trips to visit her and my two sisters who live near her. We love traveling and have been to Europe. I’m an avid gardener. I’m not a good one, but like Linus, I’m sincere. I love to cook, and like all the women in my family love it when people enjoy the meals I make.
9. Do you have anything specific you would like to say to your readers?
I’d like to thank them for giving my book their time and attention. And I hope I have both entertained them and informed them. And I would like them to enjoy the diversity of their own heritage and the vibrant history our predecessors have created for us.