Rebecca Rasmussen!

Author of:

The Bird Sisters’ 

Wednesday, June 1st

One More Page Books Reading and Signing at  7:00pm




2200 N. Westmoreland Street, Suite 101

Arlington, VA,  22213


THE BIRD SISTERS is truly something to crow about. Rasmussen’s obvious intimacy with her characters…breathes such life into them, each voice is perfectly defined, whether her characters speak as teenager or septuagenarians.”–St. Louis magazine
THE BIRD SISTERS is in no way imitative, it has the sturdy literary bones of pastoral masterworks such as Jane Smiley‘s A Thousand Acres and Marilynne Robinson‘s Housekeeping.” – St. Louis-Post Dispatch

An interview with the Author:

~Rebecca Rasmussen~


Rosita: It is a pleasure to meet you Rebecca and thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me. Tell me and my readers a little about yourself?
Rebecca: My name is Rebecca Rasmussen. I live in St. Louis, Missouri with my husband and daughter, where I teach writing and literature at Fontbonne University. In addition to writing, I’m reading some wonderful nonfiction books these days (My Life in France by Julia Child is my favorite of the bunch!) Writing The Bird Sisters, I completed during my tenure in the MFA Program at the University of Massachusetts. The Bird Sisters is my first novel.
Rosita: Did you always want to be a writer growing up?
Rebecca: Absolutely not. For the longest time, I wanted to be a lawyer (the good kind, who helps people!). In eighth grade, we studied the constitution in my social studies class and I got to role-play the part of a Supreme Court justice, which I also thought would be a pretty wonderful vocation. I was not a particularly bookish child, so it’s fairly amazing that I love to read and write as much as I do now. I’m even surprised sometimes! I only began to write in college and mostly because my mother loved to write and I loved her so much—I guess I figured if she loved it, I would too. It turns out that was very true.
Rosita: Where did the inspiration come for writing The Bird Sisters?


Rebecca: The story of the Bird Sisters belongs to my grandmother Kathryn. Until I was twenty-one, I knew very little about her even though I’d spent a lot of time with her (I even lived with her at one point). I knew her father was an extremely talented golfer and her mother was the most beautiful woman in the world, and that my grandmother thought I looked like her. I knew my grandmother fell asleep midway through television shows—that she was getting old. It wasn’t until after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, went through the treatments, and went into remission that I got to know her better.
She and my mother moved to Colorado, where I was living at the time, waiting out those last precious months before I went to graduate school. My mother worked a lot. My grandmother and I didn’t. Every morning, we’d go to breakfast together, and it was over our first cups of mountain coffee together that questions started popping into my mind and answers started flowing from her lips. She told me the story of her parents, their heartbreaks and their joys, as if I were a friend instead of her granddaughter. And then she showed me a picture of them at a county fair when they were very young. My great-grandfather and great-grandmother were standing under a cardboard moon, looking at each other with a kind of uncontained love that was rare for photographs of that time. I kept measuring their expressions against the story my grandmother had told me. I kept wondering: where did that love go?
A few months later, I went off to graduate school. A month after that, my grandmother fell down in a parking lot and discovered, after many tests, that she had a brain tumor. After she passed away, my mother sent me her journals, which we never even knew she’d kept. Once I found my way out of missing her terribly and into wanting to honor her, the first draft of The Bird Sisters took me about eight months to write. But, oh, the revisions that followed! The heartbreaks. The joys.
Rosita: What an honor indeed for Kathryn! Thank you for sharing her touching story and your memories. Was it important for you to have the novel set in Wisconsin? 
Rebecca: I am deeply attached to Spring Green, Wisconsin, which is where my father has lived since I was a girl. My brother and I would go back and forth between his house and my mother’s, which was located in a small suburb of Chicago. For us, Wisconsin was magical. There we were able to swim in the river, cover ourselves in mud, and tromp through the woods. There we played with barn cats and snakes, lightning bugs and katydids. I’ve always preferred rural landscapes to urban ones. Wild over tame. It’s like the old bumper stickers from the 80s used to say: “Escape to Wisconsin.”

Rosita: Wisconsin sounds like a beautiful state! You grew up with your brother but is there a sister in your novel that you or your brother relate to most–Milly or Twiss?


Rebecca: Often people tell me Milly and Twiss are polar opposites when they are young. Milly and Twiss definitely accept their differences more as they grow older. Whether or not they always understand those differences, I’m not certain. My older brother and I are a lot like them. My brother is a great adventurer like Twiss, and I am more cautious like Milly. As we’ve grown older, we’ve grown a bit more moderate. He can sit still for a whole hour now, for example, and I don’t jump on his back when I sense danger nearby.

Rosita: Do you have a favorite quote, sentence or line from The Bird Sisters?

Rebecca: Yes, “Bone china is like your heart – if it breaks it can’t be fixed.”

Rosita: A touching quote, I love it! What advice can you give to future or aspiring first-time writers?

Rebecca: Have faith in yourself and your work. If you don’t have it, no one else will. Also, be kind to yourself. When you face rejection, treat yourself to something small that you love. Send yourself flowers or chocolates. Pick yourself up. Keep writing!



Thank you Rebecca for this delightful interview. I appreciate the sharing of your endearing experience with your of your own family, your upcoming novel and your creative sisters Milly and Twiss.



Purchase your copy of the Bird Sisters:


9 thoughts on “GOOD READS and REVIEWS”

  1. Lovely interview Rosita. THE BIRD SISTERS has caught the eye of those in the book world and beyond. Your questions drew me in and Rebecca was most generous with her answers. Both you and Rebecca shined in this interview.

    • Dearest Poof Books: Thank you for your kind words regarding the interview with Rebecca. I saw many tweets regarding the novel The Bird Sisters. I did some research and ordered the novel. It touched my heart from the first to the last page. I hope many more will order it. Without a doubt, they too, will share the same sentiments. Thank you again, Rosita

  2. Beautiful job on the interview. BIRD SISTERS has certainly been on the lips of the twittersphere and other book loving media outlets. It is no wonder that you, Rosita,An Avid Writer and Rebecca Rasmussen shined together.

  3. jane austen book club said:

    We cant wait to receive our copies this book! The reviews are great and knowing about the author and the background behind the story makes me anticipate the book even more! Thanks for the lovely, down-to-earth and beautiful interview! The Jane Austen Book Club

    • Thank you Jane Austen Book Club for your interest in Rebecca’s novel! I can’t to read it myself. I relate to the book in the sense of the girls relationship with themselves, their parents and with Rebecca’s relationship with her grandparents. The release date is April 12th, 2011. Thank you again, Rosita, An Avid Writer

  4. Great interview.

    It’s amazing how the stories of our grandparents affect us so. I, too, have not been able to get the life of my grandfather out of my head. He has Alzheimer’s, which makes it impossible to ask him anything…He trails off after a sentence or so and then asks me who my mother is.

    • Thank you Jennifer for reply to my blog. I was honored to be able to interview Rebecca on her upcoming novel, The Bird Sisters! I understand your situation with regards to your grandparent with Alzheimers. When it reaches the stages of your grandfather, it becomes an emotional time. However, dont give up on learning more about your Grandfather’s past. Ask all his friends, family and those that knew him all they know about him. You will be surprised how an amazing story starts to unfold….All the best! Rosita, An Avid Writer

  5. Rosita, what a lovely post this is — thank you with all of my heart for having me as a guest on your wonderful blog. XOXOX

    • Thank you again Rebecca for the interview! It was an honor and a humbling experience for me. I learned a lot from you. I look forward to your upcoming novels and future literary works to come. Once again, my deepest gratitude and thanks, Rosita, An Avid Writer

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