Women authors led a panel discussion Wednesday at the New Rochelle Public Library dispelling some misconceptions about their craft.
A small crowd of people gathered at the library to hear Wendy Corsi Staub, a critically acclaimed award-winning author of nearly 80 books, and Jennifer Ciotta, author of I, Putin: A Novel and blogger of self-publishing.
Before the authors had arrived, conversations began among the audience members as some caught up with friends and others were meeting for the first time.
Lis Wiehl, Fox News legal analyst and best-selling author, was also scheduled to be there; she was unable to attend.
The authors discussed a wide variety of topics, including how they have become successful in their specific genres, which may stereotypically be seen as male-dominated areas.
A discussion of Vladimir Putin, which Ciotta led, brought on talk of current events, including the arrest in Russia of the feminist punk rock band Pussy Riot. As it was reported earlier Wednesday, one of the women was released on appeal. The two other women were sentenced to two years in prison.
Ciotta’s book, I, Putin: A Novel, is a mix of nonfiction and fiction. Due to the nonfiction aspects, she was once contemplating the idea of writing under a male name until someone had mentioned that her being a female was such a unique characteristic.
Staub has also seen success with her thriller novels. However, she has faced assumptions a number of readers make due to her gender.
She said that some people assume her books are romantic-suspense novels simply because she is a woman.
New Rochelle resident Bobby Mehler attended the first author discussion panel last November that consisted of mystery authors, as well as multiple other events hosted by the New Rochelle Library.
“Every program they have here at the library is informative and interesting,” she said.
Chris Selin, a board member of the New Rochelle Public Library Foundation, walked out of the library after the discussion having learned something.
“I came to support the program and am leaving with a lot of information I didn’t expect to have,” she said.
Barbara Davis, the library's community relations coordinator, said there will be more author discussion panels in the future, including one with authors who have written about well-known individuals from New Rochelle.
EDITOR'S NOTE: There are three more of library’s Big Read discussion groups. See more information here.