Pacific Street: Inspired by Facts and Love

Some of you know that since I retired two and a half years ago, I’ve been working on a novel inspired by my grandparents’ lives and the discoveries I’ve made about them and their extended families through my genealogy research.  Well, I finally put my “pen” down and decided to call it done.

Amy Gussie and Isadore

My grandparents, Gussie Brotman and Isadore Goldschlager, and me

It’s been an exciting process for me because ever since I learned to read, I’ve wanted to write a novel.  All through my career when I was writing long, boring articles for law journals, I wished that instead I was writing a novel. Novels have been my refuge all my life. I love being transported to different times and places and seeing into the hearts and minds of all kinds of characters.  I just wanted a chance to try to create some characters of my own.  When I retired, I promised myself that I would give it a try.

One friend reprimanded me when I said I was trying to write a novel.  She said, “Don’t say that.  Say you are writing a novel.”  I was and am insecure about the whole thing.  I never took a fiction writing course, participated in a writing workshop, or wrote any fiction at all, not since I wrote stories as a young child. What did I know?

My only sources of information about writing a novel were all the novels I’d read starting when I read Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White when I was eight years old.  That book transported me in ways that changed the way I felt about reading.  I cried so hard (spoiler alert) when Charlotte died.  And she was just a spider! A fictional spider! How had the author made her so real and moved me to care so much?

Charlotte's Web

Charlotte’s Web (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now that I’ve written my own novel, I am even more in awe of the many great authors whose books have moved me so deeply. I am humbled by what those authors were able to do with words, and thus I feel presumptuous trying to promote my own book, despite my friend’s reprimand.

But it was a labor of love—love for family and love for the magic of the written word.  I wrote this book for my children and grandchildren so that they would have a taste of what their ancestors’ lives were like. I had lots of help and inspiration from my family and friends, as I acknowledge at the end of the book.  And so despite this aching feeling of insecurity, I do want to share and promote my book so that others will also know the story I’ve created about my grandparents—grounded in fact, but expanded upon by my imagination.

I hope that you will be tempted to read it.  You can find it on Amazon both as a paperback ($6.99) and as a Kindle ebook ($2.99) at

If you do read it, I’d love your feedback.  Thank you!

41 thoughts on “Pacific Street: Inspired by Facts and Love

  1. Hi Amy, I’m surprised you’re done as I know how dedicated you are to family history. Good luck with your future projects and a hearty thanks for all your help and expertise during the last year or more with my Selinger’s. I am looking forward to reading your book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you misunderstood. I am NOT done with family history OR my blog. Far from it! I have finished a novel—totally separate project. Don’t worry—you’re not done with me yet!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, Amy, I had no idea!!! Congratulations! I am excited to read it. I’ll buy it now, but have to put it after a couple of others I’ve already committed to.
    Coincidentally, I just had my poetry chapbook (based on my genealogical research and enhanced by imagination, like your book) accepted by a small press that I’ve long admired. I’ll be following behind you!
    Have a wonderful time with your book! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations! That is fantastic, Amy. I love that you stayed the course–despite reprimands–because YOU knew you had it in you all the while. You knew. I was given some very sound advice from a former patient when I told her I started a family history blog. She said get it in hardback. Publish it, even if in sections. Do it now. Her advice is something I’ve kept close, since, in our digital age, who knows what may change. I am so happy for you. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amy Dear,
    As you know, we are terribly proud of all your accomplishments. {What does terror have to do with pride?} And now this novel. My initial reading of your first draft was interrupted by events now gone. I look forward to reading your insight of how these two people began and evolved into these two elders whom i knew so well. Love, Daddy

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m very late to the party but big congratulations on your book. I’m heading to Amazon now to buy it.

    And, I might also pick your brain about lulu. I “published” my blog annually for the first few years with but I think I’m ready to try something new.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Amy, I’m just thrilled for you! And proud as punch to say I “knew you when” (at least a little). You’ve inspired me to start my own book (not to try, but to start). I love reading your blog and can only imagine how enjoyable the book “version” will be!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Laura! Writing the book was wonderful, but very different from writing my blog. With the blog my goals is to be as accurate as possible, relying on the records, newspapers, and to a small extent, family lore. The book is a novel—I used basic skeletal facts, but the rest is from my imagination.


  7. Pingback: Book, Book, & Book – Plus a Wee Glimpse of a Tale of Using Indirect Evidence | thegenealogygirl

  8. Re: Golden Wedding – Mr & Mrs Rosenzweig – Jan. 31, 1925
    I recently hung a picture in my home, that was in the basement of my folks home. As i studied the picture, certain key items came up that prompted me to look them up on google.The reason I’m contacting you is based on information i discovered on google. It seems my grandparents and my grandmother’s sister, attended what looks like a large celebration at Savigny Hall in Manhattan in 1925. Before i continue my story, if you are interested, please let me know.
    Steven S.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Florence Goldschlager Cohen: A Life Filled with Love | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.