Interviewing Hugh Rosen, author of Silent Battlefields: A Novel
- Tell us about yourself first.
I graduated high school in 1948 and enlisted in the army for three
years. Next I went to college majoring in English Literature.
I later earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in clinical social
For thirty years I wasa faculty member at a local university
and served as a tenured professor. Upon retiring I returned
to school and completed an MA in creative writing.
I work out in the gym three days a week. I love reading, writing, films,
classical music, and my two
cats, Bandit and The Kid. Oh, and there are also some humans
I love amongst my friends and family, but I enjoy solitude much of the time.
2.When did you start writing?
I began writing in college
where I wrote several one-act plays, which were published in the school’s literary journal. Two of them were performed
on the college stage. While in academia I started writing non-fiction related to my professional work. Once in the creative
writing program I started writing short stories and began my novel there.
- What genres have you written?
I’ve written both fiction and non-fiction. The latter is clinical-scholarly in nature, the former
- Is Silent Battlefields your first book?
No, it is my seventh, but it is my first novel.
- Tell us about your first book. What is it about?
It is about the Holocaust and its aftermath almost three decades later on two families.
One family is that of parents who are survivors with a young adult son. The other is a gentile family with a husband who was
once a Hitler Youth and German soldier. It also has a young adult son. When members of both families begin to meet and interact,
startling revelations surface and unexpected relationships develop.
- What inspired you to write this book?
I have a friend who is the adult son of Holocaust survivors. He has frequently told me of the effect
it had on his parents, as well as on himself. I thought this could be the nucleus of a good story, although I had no idea
then how much more complex the plot would become. That emerged during the actual
- How long did it take you to write it?
It took four years to complete, but the actual writing time in years was two-and-a-half,
since I took time out to participate as a volunteer in teaching “English as a second language” to immigrants in
the United States.
- Who is the publisher of your book?
The publisher is iUniverse.
- Where is it on sale?
Silent Battlefields: A Novel can be obtained online
at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, www.booksamillion.com, and through the publisher, of course at www.iuniverse.com. The book can also be accessed directly by clicking the appropriate link on my website: www.hughrosen.com. It is also on the websites of other major booksellers.
- Tell us about your other books/works.
The subjects of my other books are cognitive development, moral reasoning, psychotherapy, and constructivism.
Three of the books I am the sole author of, two of them were published by Columbia
University Press and the other three I co-edited with a chapter I wrote
in each of those three. I have also contributed chapters to other people’s edited books. In addition I co-edited a special
issue for an international journal on cognitive therapy. The title of that special issue was entitled, “Creativity in
the Context of cognitive therapy.”
- What are the major challenges you have faced in your career?
Speaking generally, I was well suited for my career as a professor, educational administrator, and
academic writer, all of which I did for thirty years. Things moved quickly and progressively for me and there were no major
roadblocks. My major challenge came when I shifted to the creative writing program upon retiring, as then I had to learn to
give more free rein to my imagination and transition to a fiction writer from a non-fiction academic writer. The modes of
both styles differ considerably.
- Has the Internet helped you in your writing career?
Yes. The newsletters for authors have proven to be very informative and useful. The Internet offers
a great venue through which to promote my novel.
- What do you advise new writers to do?
Don’t strive for perfection in the first draft. Give free play to your imagination. Persevere
and keep writing. Ideas will come to you in the process. Revise later. Read books on writing and a variety of fiction. Find
an objective reader who will give you honest feedback. In the end, trust your own judgment. Know the rules of your craft,
but break them if it’s in the best interest of your story. Expect rejection letters, don’t give up, and have faith
in yourself. Creating a world of your own making is an enriching experience.