Monday, May 07, 2012

Interview: Barbara Froman - Shadows and Ghosts

Haunted by the past, trapped in a hospital bed and forced to face what you have been trying so hard to forget. A great read from author   Barbara Froman in Shadows and Ghosts

Genre:  Fiction

I’ve always loved movies. There’s something magical about sitting in the dark, watching stories unfold on a large screen, something transformative.  But I realized, a number of years ago, that my fondest and bitterest memories of movies were not triggered by plots or characters; they were triggered by single images.  So, I decided to use that idea as the foundation for a novel that would give readers a cinematic experience.

The result was Shadows and Ghosts which was published by Serving House Books in December of 2011 as a result of my winning the Fairleigh Dickinson University/Serving House Books First Book Contest in Prose.

The novel, which is framed with famous film images and screenwriters’ directions, is set in the fictional upstate New York town of Willow Bend, and is about a critically acclaimed Jewish filmmaker, named Ida Mae Glick, who suffers a near fatal heart attack when she tries to live on the same meager rations as a group of homeless people she is filming. When she winds up in the hospital at the mercy of a neurotic psychiatrist who believes she’s unstable, she is forced to confront not only the events leading to her arrest, but also a troubled past of substance abuse and failed love affairs, as well as her relationship with the uptight, estranged identical twin sister who wants to see her committed.  To make the situation worse, Ida Mae’s ghostly mother appears at her bedside determined to air old gripes.

Ida Mae’s mother, Edna Glick, is the Jewish heart and soul of Shadows and Ghosts. Her appearance and observations are a constant reminder of the importance of culture and family.  Ironically, it is Edna’s ghost that brings Ida Mae face-to-face with the past she’s been trying to forget since moving to Willow Bend, a town in which she seems to be the only Jew.

The prize and publication of Shadows and Ghosts were tremendous honors, coming after approximately ten years of working on the book and going through over half a dozen revisions, first with writer-colleagues, and then with my editor, Walter Cummins at Serving House Books.  I feel very blessed by their support and the generous way in which they shared their gifts.  

I just hope that readers will experience as much joy from reading the book as I did from writing it, and perhaps, contact me to share some favorite film images of their own.

Books by Ted William Gross

If you wish to purchase the books at Smashwords click here.

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