Author Interview: Edith G. Tolchin | Fanny on Fire


Here's what Edith G. Tolchin had to say about her comedic novel , Fanny on Fire, for which she was an Indies Award Finalist (and who doesn't like to laugh?)!


Tell us a little bit about yourself and your published book (s).
I’m an editor, columnist, and celebrity memoir book interviewer and of course, an author of several books. My first few books were non-fiction, about my experience and knowledge of the inventions industry. My most recent book is Fanny on Fire, a comedic novel loosely based on my life growing up in the Bronx, New York.

I must have done something right because Fanny was a recent finalist in the Foreword Reviews INDIES Book Awards!

Tell us about the genre you like to write, and how is it similar / different from other women fiction genres?
I like comedy—whether fiction or non-fiction. Comedy heals the soul and helps deal with everyday problems. I also enjoy doing my interviews (I’m a columnist for Inventors Digest) and doing my book reviews of newly-released celebrity memoirs for the New York Journal of Books.

What are some of the biggest challenges hen lit authors face today?
While we know that the boomer audience is huge, unfortunately the market is still for younger readers. So, I think it’s a matter of better PR for older authors, especially hen lit authors. Often, we must get out there and promote our own books or assist our—often indie—publishers to promote our titles.

Given the ongoing popularity of chick lit, where do you see hen lit ten years from now?

As mentioned above, the boomer audience will only increase, so it’s best for us to push hard to have hen lit declared a legitimate genre. That will encourage more older writers, to tell their often unique stories.

When did it dawn on you that you wanted to be a writer?
It just evolved. As I mentioned in my most recent book, Fanny on Fire, in 1998 when I owned a small, home-based business in Florida, NY, the local newspaper was looking for business owners to respond to a weekly “Biz-Notes” column, sharing their experience in running small, local businesses. I had plenty of experience, so I signed up. And from that, I went to newspaper columnist, to magazine columnist, book author and lecturer. However, it was only with my most recent publication, Fanny on Fire, that I realized how much I enjoy writing.

Do you have a day job other than being a writer?
I do wear many hats. I’ve owned EGT Global Trading, manufacturing textile and sewn items in China for inventors since 1997. I am also a columnist for Inventors Digest, and an editor (if you need help cleaning up your manuscript, please contact me!) as well as a celebrity memoir book reviewer.

What are some things that inspire you to write?
The comedy and frivolity of everyday life. My husband and I travel a lot, often taking road trips. The strangest thing like a funny or misspelled billboard can get us writing and analyzing an “LOL” story.

What is your typical writing routine like?
I like to write in the evenings. I go to bed late, and my day begins when most people have finished their lunches. But I can work up until two or three am. My husband and I have our laptops on the dining room table—he’s a techie—and often our evenings are spent there doing our thing at our laptops.

What kind of message do your book(s) convey to readers?
Today’s world is a tough one. Fanny on Fire is comic relief. Read the reviews; everyone finds bizarre entertainment in the character of Fanny Goldman, an outspoken sixtyish feminist who inadvertently obtains her own cooking show on the “Feed-Us Channel” network. Instead of (for example) NBC, what is this network’s call letters?

Does your book (s) incorporate certain aspects of your own life (and / or that of others)?
Definitely! Fanny on Fire is a fictionalized memoir but since that’s a difficult genre to sell, we called the book a comedic novel. Read the book, and then ask me what’s real and what’s imagined!

Who are some of your favorite authors and why? 
Erica Jong, for her Fear of Flying. She was an early feminist who gave permission for young women to be assertive.

I also enjoy the works of Herman Wouk and E. L. Doctorow, two successful authors who grew up in the Bronx, as I did.

Any advice you’d like to give for aspiring writers at this stage in life? 
Write, and keep on writing. Hire a competent editor because today’s market is highly competitive. Agents and publishers have no time to spend reviewing sloppy submissions, which are often cast into the slush pile. 

Once your work is done, get with that editor to clean up your manuscript and perhaps she or he can share publishing insights with you, so you don’t go into the process facing endless rejections.

Find out more about Edith Tolchin here!
Twitter: @QueenWrites

“Fanny on Fire will be available in audiobook format on or before 11/1/19!”

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