Feature

Author of the week: Charlotte Rogan

For 25 years, Rogan, a mother of triplets, has been what you might call a secret novelist.

Persistence has finally paid off for Charlotte Rogan, said Julie Bosman in The New York Times. For 25 years, Rogan, a mother of triplets, has been what you might call a secret novelist, writing during the free hours she patched together while her children were at school and her husband was at work. Though she completed three novels, she never tried to publish them. Then, a bit more than two years ago, she took a chance and sent an agent the manuscript for The Lifeboat, a thriller about a young woman defending decisions she made while fighting for survival after a luxury liner’s sinking. Not long after, Rogan signed her first book contract, with Little, Brown and Co. “It was unreal,” says Rogan. “I had no expectations.”

Published April 3, The Lifeboat is selling strongly and enjoying glowing early reviews. Rogan’s breakthrough has surprised several of her friends, many of whom never knew about her writing habit. Finally, they might understand why she kept turning down their lunch invitations. “I wanted those hours,” she says. “I’d really, really try to be consistent about it.” Rogan says she learned discipline a quarter century ago after enrolling in a creative writing course at New York’s City College. “One thing I picked up was just doing the writing, every week,” she said. Leading the life of a nonwriter, says Rogan, probably helped her to keep at it. “You’re busy and you don’t sit there and stew about it,” she says. “There were times when just the writing of it was enough.” 

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