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Abbigail Nguyen Rosewood: On Focusing on the Work

Award-winning author Abbigail Nguyen Rosewood discusses pain metamorphosing into prose in her new novel, Constellations of Eve.

Abbigail Nguyen Rosewood was born in Vietnam, where she lived until the age of 12. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her short fiction and essays can be found at Electric Lit, LitHub, Catapult, The Southampton Review, The Brooklyn Review, Columbia Journal, and The Adroit Journal, among others. In 2019, her hybrid writing was featured in a multimedia art and poetry exhibit at Eccles Gallery.

Her fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and Best American Short Story 2020. Her debut novel If I Had Two Lives won first place in the Writers Workshop of Asheville Literary Fiction contest. Excerpts from Constellations of Eve were finalists in the 49th New Millenium Writing Award, and the Sunspot Culmination Award. She is the founder of Neon Door, a forthcoming immersive literary exhibit.

Abbigail Nguyen Rosewood: On Focusing on the Work

Abbigail Nguyen Rosewood

In this post, Abbigail discusses pain metamorphosing into prose in her new novel, Constellations of Eve, her advice for other writers, and more!

Name: Abbigail Nguyen Rosewood
Literary agent: Stacy Testa of Writers House
Book title: Constellations of Eve
Publisher: DVAN/TTUP
Release date: May 3, 2022
Genre/category: Literary Fiction
Previous titles: If I Had Two Lives (Europa Editions)
Elevator pitch for the book: Three reincarnations of one love story, Constellations of Eve chronicles the transmigration of souls. Each reality allows Eve, an artist and mother crippled by fears of being abandoned by those she loves, another chance at fulfillment—but can she get it right?

Abbigail Nguyen Rosewood: On Focusing on the Work

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What prompted you to write this book?

I started writing Constellations of Eve in 2017 while living on the Upper West Side in New York. At that time, my relationship with my husband was at a crossroads—it was a major test in our then-five years together. In writing the book, I was able to channel some of the difficulties I was experiencing into fiction, to metamorphose pain into something I can hold, perhaps even something beautiful. The story reincarnates three times—in the end—I think my view of love is hopeful.

How long did it take to go from idea to publication? And did the idea change during the process?

The idea shape-shifted multiple times during the first few initial drafts¾the fantastical elements were more prominent. I had the ambition to write something much more heavily speculative, but the book took charge and allowed me only what served the story.

It took a year and a half to find the novel a home. When my agent first went on submission, the imprint that was to publish my novel didn’t yet exist. Everything fell into place when the right time came.

Were there any surprises or learning moments in the publishing process for this title?

I’ve learned that if you’ve put in your best effort writing something, you’ve completed your job as a writer. The rest is up to the universe. As I mentioned, the imprint that ended up choosing Constellations of Eve as its inaugural title, didn’t yet exist. Sometimes, your book is just waiting for the right opportunity.

Abbigail Nguyen Rosewood: On Focusing on the Work

Were there any surprises in the writing process for this book?

I feel lucky when I say this¾every book that comes from me, now or in the future, is always a surprise. I never know, day-to-day, what I’m going to write until I’m already writing it. All the confluences that add up to a book remain a mystery to me.

What do you hope readers will get out of your book?

A mixture between anguish and pleasure.

If you could share one piece of advice with other writers, what would it be?

Get rid of social media, and magically, you’ve reduced your anxiety, increased your word count, and feel more content. Don’t get ahead of yourself: finish your script, novel, story, before worrying about a platform, agent, or publisher. Focus on the work and the rest will fall into place.

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