Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Meet Aidan Donnelly Rowley and The Ramblers

Posted by Susan B James on 2:00:00 AM with 3 comments

Aidan Donnelly Rowley is a new author for me. I fell in love with The Ramblers which goes on sale today. AND I have a copy to give away. So read on, please.
The Ramblers is a love letter to New York City—its glittering moments and the magic and wonder that are waiting to be discovered in some of its secret corners. One hectic one Thanksgiving week, three lost souls bound together by friendship learn to let go of their pasts and make room for hope and their futures.
Clio Marsh, an ornithologist at the American Museum of Natural History, has found solace from her broken childhood by studying the ways in which hummingbirds adapt to harsh environments. The Ramble in Central Park is the only place in Manhattan that has truly ever felt like home in the city, and she’s dedicated to introducing other New Yorkers to the beauties of the natural world on her popular bird-watching walks there. But then Clio meets someone and the solitary world she’s carefully constructed threatens to crumble as she struggles to come to terms with her past.

Smith Anderson has been Clio’s best friend since their first days as undergraduates at Yale, when a painful secret bound them together. As a professional organizer to wealthy Manhattanites, Smith’s career is centered on order and peace for her clients, but her own life has been falling apart ever since her fiancé mysteriously called off their engagement and quickly married another woman. Now, with her younger sister’s wedding just days away, Smith is spiraling out of control, grasping for answers from her family and from herself.

Tate Pennington, an aspiring photographer, is going through a bitter divorce. The iPhone app he created on a whim made him a millionaire nearly overnight, but his failed marriage has left him reeling and he’s returned to New York for a fresh start. Tate finds himself desperate for a real connection and wonders if he’ll have a sense of truly belonging somewhere, with someone, again. 

That interest you? It did me. I loved every moment of the book. The Ramblers is intelligent, humorous and heartwarming. And I adored the little-known pieces of history Aidan added to my life.I discovered places I never knew about in New York City. This is one of the few novels I've read that is written in first-person-present tense. The style fascinated me. I was absorbed into Clio and Smith and Tate's lives. This beautifully written novel engaged all my senses and led me into a world I'd only experienced peripherally. I can't wait to go back to New York and visit the Ramble. I have a whole list of places I need to see.

Aidan Donnelley Rowley was born and raised in New York City; graduated from Yale University and received her law degree from Columbia University. She is the author of a previous novel, Life After Yes, and the creator of the Happier Hour Literary Salon. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and three daughters.
I asked Katie at Little Bird Publicity if Aidan would be open to an interview. Aidan said yes.

Q: I love firsts. Please tell me about the moment when a publisher told you they wanted to publish your first book.
A: I remember getting the call from my agent that we had an offer on my first book Life After Yes. It was 2008, just before the holidays, and I was in a children’s boutique near my home on the Upper West Side looking for clothes for my two young daughters. My second girl was just months old and I’d recently lost my father to cancer and the stock market had just suffered its whopping crash, so I was exhausted and distracted and not expecting anything, so hearing that a publisher wanted to publish my book was extra-sweet and meaningful. Goodness, I will never forget that moment.
Q: I've looked online, but I can't find the answer.
What inspired you to start a literary salon? How often do you meet?
A: I started my salons in 2010 before the publication of my first novel as a way to engage with other authors and book-lovers. I was in the trenches of new motherhood at the time, with two tiny kids at home, and an important part of me longed for my more intellectual days when I’d sit around a seminar table for hours on end discussing books and ideas. So, I had professional motivations but personal ones too; I was craving these social, but smart book-centered evenings and was thrilled to learn that others were too!

Q: With three children, a loving and humble husband, and a second career as attorney, where and how do you escape to write?
A: I left practicing law in 2005 to write full-time, but with three kids underfoot and a husband I love and want to spend quality time with, it’s a constant challenge to carve out enough time to write and think. Writing is very important to me, and central to my well-being, so I just fit it in. I literally carry my laptop everywhere and yank it out if I have any time at all, even if it’s only to scribble a sentence or two. When I’m really in my writing or editing groove, I wake up at the admittedly insane hour of 4:30am to sneak in a few hours of quiet time before the chaos commences.
Q: Given your schedule I don't think I should ask for a recipe. How bout the name of your three favorite take out places for the next time I visit my sister-in-law? She lives in the East 70's.
A: Love this question. And you’re right not to ask me for recipes; I aspire to cook one day, but am not holding my breath! I’m certainly more fluent in Upper West Wide offerings, but I’d recommend Gina La Fornarina for pizza and pasta, EJ’s Luncheonette for burgers and omelets and other diner yummies and Haru for sushi. It’s remarkable how many places deliver and how delicious the food can be!
Thank you, Aidan. I linked those places in case anyone wants to try them.
I have a paperback copy of the Ramblers to give away. Enter below. Hope you fall in love with a book this week. Give yourself a treat. Remember. Be your own Valentine.

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  1. I love reading books and most of all I love reading adventure and animal related(novel) books :) I hope I can get one copy of a THE RAMBLERS

  2. Sounds interesting. Sign me up! hugs and kisses (showin' the love)


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