Have you noticed how people’s lives sometimes mirror their own artistic endeavors? Take Lauren Grossman, for instance. This multi-faceted lady entertained friends as a talented juggler back in college.
Today, the busy 64-year-old juggles with the same dexterity her own health issues, activities as a wife and mother, managing her husband’s dental practice and working on her fourth novel.
Born in Holyoke, MA, Lauren grew up in nearby Springfield. At age 11, she made the first of two brief forays into writing a novel. The only problem was they had no middle and no end! Graduating from Emerson College in Boston, the author moved to Los Angeles, as she reminisced “to seek fame and fortune as an actress.”
Competing with thousands of other aspiring starlets eventually lost its luster and she decided to move back to Springfield.
It was a fortuitous move. In 1985, she went on a blind date with Michael Grossman, whom she later married. “Best blind date I ever had,” she quipped. It must have been beshert.” The union produced two children: Zachary, 30, who lives in Prague, Czech Republic and Rachel, 32, born with what was then referred to as developmental delays. “Doctors said she may never walk or talk,” the proud mom stated. “She has proven these dire predictions wrong. Rachel has grown into a very loving adult who knows more people in town than I do.” She even volunteers at Congregation Or Chadash, where the family has been members for the past 21 years.
Lauren was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis 28 years ago. Her primary symptoms – leg pain and fatigue – are managed thanks to a cocktail of medications. This courageous lady is quick to say how much the support from her family has meant.
The Grossmans decided to leave Massachusetts in 1995 after enduring two consecutive record-setting winters. Upon their first glimpse of the Santa Catalina Mountains, the family knew they had found their new home in Tucson.
One night 15 years ago, she had a dream that included a beginning, middle and end. Upon awakening, she ran to the computer and started typing. That morning led to her first novel Once in Every Generation. The characters reflect her own experiences in Massachusetts and working in theatre. “Write what you know” is one of her mantras.
Her second novel The Golden Peacock began the Rainee Allen mystery series. “Again, writing from what happened to me, Rainee is handed the I.D. card of a survivor at the U.S. Holocaust Museum who shares her birthday (with a 30-year age difference),” says Lauren. From there, unfolds a story with twists and turns, which I can affirm from personal experience, will leave the reader stunned.
The Verona Exchange is the second Rainee Alleen mystery, which she wrote in collaboration with her brother Bernie. The third I the mystery series is a work in progress. “It takes place in Prague because my son lives there and I’ve visited a number of times,” says Lauren. She has also written several short stories.
Intrigued by her background, I wanted to ask Grossman a few questions:
What does writing do for your soul?
It uplifts me spiritually. To paraphrase one of my favorite quotes, “The soul of a writer is born through their art.”
You have written three books, along with some short stories. Have any of them won awards?
Two of my short stories won an honorable mention from the Writer’s Digest magazine. The Golden Peacock won finalist in the Readers’ Favorite contest. Recognition is always validating.
What is the writing process like for you?
I go to a neighborhood cafe, sit at my favorite table, poise my fingers over the keyboard, and often do not look up for four or five hours.
How did it feel being chosen to speak at the 2019 Brandeis Author and Book Luncheon?
It was a wonderful experience. I was honored to speak as the only local author for this fundraiser.
What’s next for you after you finish your third Rainee Allen mystery?
I am considering a lighthearted, humorous novel. I’ve heard that my mystery novels can make the readers gasp. This time I would love to make them laugh!
Lauren Grossman’s novels are available in paperback and e-book on Amazon.
Barbara Russek is a freelance writer in Tucson.