It's true, there is “Yeah, I Think It’s Starting to Work”: A Conversation with Debut Author Deborah Greenhut" at LitReactor. I had this to say in the introduction about Deborah: "Drawn from her real life experiences, Greenhut weaves a tale that is at times a psychological autopsy and at others a horror novel, but is at all times a moving and lyrical exploration of resilience and survival in a uniquely complex family system." You can read the interview in its entirety here and some excerpt below. Cool? Totally, I know. Enjoy.
Please tell me who you are and what we need to know about your book.
My name is Deborah Greenhut, and I have loved telling stories since I could speak. At the ripe old age of 8, I fell in love with writing poetry and announced my goal of becoming a writer. My mother tried to steer me in other directions—secretary or teacher—two of the main gateways for women in the 1950s. But not a nurse, although she was one. “Too difficult a life,” she explained. My father, a dedicated Scarsdale doctor, thought women could not be doctors, despite his invention of “take your daughter to work day,” which he practiced on many days in my childhood. Although I received a lot of training in the fine arts—particularly grooming to become a concert pianist, ultimately, I traveled the teacher road, starting with teaching music in a nursery school, running all the way through graduate school and teaching communication skills to graduate students and corporate seminar participants. I’m a mother and a grandmother. That’s a main heartbeat of my autobiography. Another main artery concerns a 35-year marriage to a husband who was a hoarder who took his own life.
About the book. The novel is a work of fiction, and you will see that I drew from similar themes in my life to write it. As a writer, I don’t like to write the same thing, style, or genre twice in a row, and I’ve written several multi-genre works. When it came to finally sitting down at 68 to write the novel I had been whining about for a long time (along with 8 bazillion other English Lit majors from the 1970s), I found that I couldn’t let it be just one thing, just one genre, so I finally found a container for the story when I re-conceived it as a journal within a novel…and a lot of music threading everything. It may be that there are, "Too many notes,” to borrow a phrase from Count Orsini-Rosenberg, the emperor’s musical advisor, in Forman’s “Amadeus.” I hope that, as Mozart replied, “there are just as many notes…as are required.” It took me about two years to adapt my notes from the preceding 30 to write the novel. Thanks, in part to the pandemic, I was able to focus.
Edward Albee often said that he wrote to find out what he was thinking, and I am driven to do that, too. Until the words start flowing—many words, I’m not sure. So, despite good advice about conciseness, I almost never do anything “nice and easy," following to the gospel of Tina Turner, as voiced in the preamble to John Fogerty’s song, "Rolling on the River (Proud Mary)." And, yes, the title character, Grace, the hoarder's wife, is a lapsed musician struggling to make her music and her life work.
The book depicts a lapsing Jewish-American family because it’s what I know, but I also believe that a reader whose family struggles with mental disorders among its members will find common ground with my story, despite any specifics of culture. Fair warning: there was a lot of sadness on the way to a clean house.