Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Straight Chatting from the Library - Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Anne and Kenneth will be awarding a $40 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon/BN to a randomly drawn host. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


What is the favorite book you remember as a child?

Ken remembers reading as many Hardy Boy books as he could find in the library. Not only did they have a car (which the author called a roadster -- also cool), they had a boat that they took out into the Bay. There were many sudden storms out on that water, but who was counting.

Anne’s favorite book was Five Children and It.

What is your favorite book today?

Anne has a hard time choosing among Kurt Vonnegut’s books, but Sirens of Titan is probably at the top of the list. Second would be anything written by Charles Dickens.

Ken’s also loves Vonnegut, but if he had to choose a favorite novel it would probably be The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. There are many other books that finished second by a hair’s breadth. Bleak House. War and Peace. Brothers Karamazov. Lonesome Dove.

Tell us about your current book in 10 words.

Young woman cares for child and learns how to love.

What are you reading right now?

Anne is reading The Girl Who Played with Fire, by Stieg Larssson. Anne reads a lot of contemporary books – two to three per week.

Ken is currently reading a history of World War I called The Myth of the Great War by John Mosier.

What books do you have on hold at the library?

We have books on hold that were recommended to us for a trip we are taking in the fall that will start in Venice, cruise down the Dalmatian Coast and then cross the Mediterranean to North Africa. We will be seeing lots and lots of Roman ruins. One book Ken read is an introduction to Islam, which was very informative.

E-Reader or print? and why?

We are both still print people. Ken likes to keep a book in his backpack and reads it going back and forth to work and whenever he had to wait for a bus or a subway. He doesn’t have to worry about it getting crushed and enjoys the feel of a book.

Anne still enjoys going to the library, picking out books and having them in her hands while she reads.

However, we both recognize the fact that e-books have many advantages and we are both learning to read and enjoy books that we might never have read otherwise. Also, its ice to be able to open the app and the e-reader brings you right back to the page where you stopped.

Dog-ear or bookmark? (don't worry—Librarian Judith won't hold it against you—much)

We have battles over this. Ken thinks it should be a crime (and not just a misdemeanor either) to mistreat a book by bending back a page or leaving the book open, face down. He tries not to think about it. Anne, well … lets just say she does not always agree, especially if it’s just a paperback, for crying out loud!

Favorite book you've read this year?

Ken’s favorite book this past year was Dante’s Inferno, translated by John Ciardi. This is one of the few books that Ken has reread and he had enjoyed it even more the second time that he did the first.

Anne’s favorite book this past year was Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.

Favorite place to read?

Anne’s favorite place to read is a chair in our living room. It is comfortable and has a lot of light and the living room has a door our terrace that can be left open in nice weather. She also writes in this same spot. You could say that she really likes the chair!

Ken is often reading on the bus or the subway or waiting for same. He has a chair very close to Anne’s where he also likes to read, but it is a little too comfortable and he ends up “dreaming” a book rather than reading one.

Favorite genre?

Neither of us have a favorite genre. This might explain why we have now published four books and each are from a different genre: Kate and the Kid (mainstream); Mind Me, Milady (mystery/suspense); Things Are Not What They Seem (middle reader/tween); and Praise Her, Praise Diana (mainstream/thriller). We tend to think of a story and then write it in the appropriate genre.

Do you loan your books?

Yes, but we have had bad luck with getting the books back.

What would make you not finish a book?

We will both give the author a chance to establish the story. We are not impatient in that way. But if we are fifty pages into a book and it is not grabbing us, we will move on to something else. Life is just too short to spend a part of it reading a bad book. The thing we hate the most is lazy writing – descriptions and characters that you feel you’ve read many times before.

Keep books or give them away?

Anne tends to get rid of a book after she has read it and knows that she will not return to it. This makes sense to Ken, but he still likes to hold onto books. He would probably have his Hardy Boy books if it were up to him. If he gives old books to a library, he feels a little better about it.


KATE AND THE KID is about a young woman (Kate) who has just lost her job and had a major fight with her boyfriend (also arising from the trauma of being fired). At this very low point in her life, Kate is tricked into taking care of a sweet but emotionally damaged six-year-old girl (Jenny) who only communicates with adults through a doll she calls “Miranda.”

As a result of an eventful night of babysitting, Kate begins to bond with Jenny, which causes a whole new set of complications with the people in Kate’s and Jenny’s lives. This book tells the story of how Kate and Jenny help each other to heal, grow, and navigate the difficult and sometimes dangerous world of New York City.


She began to press all the buzzers on the panel in the building’s foyer, one after the other, hoping that some kind soul among her neighbors would let her in. The headache that had started in the cab settled in for the night, pounding just above her right eye. At that exquisite moment, Kate saw the kid -- that ghostly, smudge-faced kid -- sitting on the staircase inside. A one armed Barbie doll was on the step beside her.

"Hi, Sweetie!" Kate said through the wired glass, exaggerating the enunciation of the words to make her meaning clear. "Would you come and let me in, honey? You remember me, don’t you? I live on the third floor?!"

The girl did not budge, apparently still trying for the grand prize in a zombie look-alike contest. At first, Kate felt a twinge of concern for the girl. Why on earth was she out in the hallway so late in the evening? Kate leaned her forehead against the cool glass and closed her eyes. When she opened them again, Jenny took the doll into her lap, whispered something into her plastic ear, walloped her twice across the bottom, and started up the stairs.

"Hey! Hey, where are you going?!" Kate shouted. "Hey you better come back here you little... Hey! Hey, did you hear me?!"

And with the little darling thus doubly emblazoned on Kate's mind, if not yet on her heart, their second encounter ended.


Anne Rothman-Hicks was born in New York City and, except for a brief exile to the suburbs imposed by her parents, she has lived there all of her life, the latter part of which she has shared with her co-author, Kenneth Hicks, and their three children.

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