With Friends Like These

F. Scott Fitzgerald, above.
Sheilah Graham, below.

With Friends Like These

The New York Times
The Opinionator
June 17, 2013

Writing Fiction and Nonfiction
by Sally Koslow

When I wrote my second novel, I biked in New York City’s Riverside Park and plopped myself down where my character died in order to take in what she saw as her life ebbed. When I wrote my first nonfiction book, in one of more than 200 interviews, I grilled a woman about why she quit a sought-after job in Washington to live in Paris.

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Dear Friends,

Please key the brass band. I've sold my fifth novel, which will appear May 29, 2018.

Here’s the announcement from Publisher’s Weekly: “Another Side of Paradise, about the little-known, tumultuous romance between F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sheilah Graham, one of early Hollywood's most powerful gossip columnists hiding painful secrets of her own, who inspired his return to writing and his final novel, and was by his side when he suddenly died on her living room floor.”

True confession: I’ve long wanted to write a biographical novel, but it took a while to hit on the perfect subjects. Think of it as choosing roommates with whom you’re going to share a small apartment—your brain—for years. I’d read tidbits about Sheilah Graham, but had to go deeper to learn how intriguing she was: creative, shrewd, generous, with grit and wit. By the way, my devotion to Sheilah makes me no less a fan of Zelda Fitzgerald. FSF fell for only a few women in his life, all dynamic and beautiful. I also admit that during the writing process I fell in love with Scott. How could I not? Beyond being one of the world’s finest writers, when he wasn’t dead drunk, he was one of the world’s best boyfriends, at least for an English major.

In writing this novel I did extensive research, which included studying the considerable, contradictory paper trail left by both Sheilah and Scott. As a writer of fiction, I balance fact with the freedom to allow the characters based on real people—almost everyone—to spring from the attic of history, speaking and thinking as I imagine them.

After my editor, Sara Nelson from Harper, read the manuscript she told me she felt it was beshert for us to work together—invoking the Yiddish word for “destined.” I feel the same way. It will be a joy to bring this novel to the world with her and I can’t wait for you to read it next year.

XO,


Sally Koslow
P.S. Please follow me on Twitter: @sallykoslow and email me at spkoslow@gmail.com.




Sally on her favorite blogs


7 Things I’ve Learned So Far - Writer's Digest

The Influence of Female Friendships - Book-alicious Mama

Meet the fabulous author Sally Koslow - Fiction Dreams

Author Sally Koslow Says Men Appreciate Her Novels, But She Doesn't Spit On The Concept Of Women's Fiction - Women's Fiction Writers

My Book, the Movie -- Sally Koslow's "The Widow Waltz" - My Book, the Movie

The Debutante Ball Welcomes Sally Koslow - The Debutante Ball

Mustering Your Super Powers - ThirdAge

Sally Koslow & Percy - Coffee with a Canine

Sally Koslow’s 5 Firsts and Lasts - Chick Lit Is Not Dead

Books by Sally Koslow’s Bed - We Wanted To Be Writers

Hey, baby boomer parents, back off! - CNN

A Conversation with Sally Koslow - Lilith

Did we spoil our adult children? - Mothering 21

Observations from the Not-So-Empty Nest: Interview with Sally Koslow and Book Giveaway - Grown & Flown

Sally Koslow, author of Slouching Toward Adulthood, Observations from the Not-So-Empty Nest, speaks to Grown and Flown - Grown & Flown

Honk If You're Afraid To Drive - Huffington Post

Author Interview with Sally Koslow - Read the interview at Reading Is Fashionable

The Joy of Deadlines - Sally guest blogs at Great Thoughts

Sexy Feminists Read: Sally Koslow’s “With Friends Like These” - read the interview at Sexy Femenist

Gettin’ Cheesy with Sally Koslow - Chick Lit Chit Chat

Interview: Sally Koslow - read the interview at Working Writers

Five Questions for...Sally Koslow - read the interview at She Writes.

13 Rules to Care and Feed a Friendship and “With Friends Like These—When Do You Forgive and Forget?” - Huffington Post

In Praise of Dusty Little Bookstores - Sally guest blogs at Tote Bags 'n' Blogs

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With Friends Like These: An Interview with Sally Koslow Ladies Home Journal: Ladies Lounge

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