Interview: Mary Hogan, author of LEFT: A LOVE STORY


Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

I was a nerdy, chubby, lonely kid who felt like the only nerdy, chubby, lonely kid in the world. My middle school librarian took pity on me and introduced me to books about girls like me. I devoured them! Back then, there were so few young adult novels I felt bereft when I’d read them all. So, I started writing stories about girls like me. And women like me. And families like mine.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

I like to think my work is a nice blend of humor and heartbreak. Like life.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?

I’m obsessed with the “Anns”: Ann Patchett, Anne Tyler, Annie Proulx. I read my first Anne Tyler novel, “Searching for Caleb” one night in my college dorm room. I found it in the lounge. Wow. How could a person write so well? That night I decided to aim for the pinnacle: to be an Ann. Still working in it.


Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

I walk my dog in the park with my ear buds in and the other end tucked into my pocket so people will think I’m talking to someone when I’m actually plotting the next chapter aloud.

How many donuts are you capable of eating in one sitting?

Capable or willing? Capable: Numerous, especially if hot. Not pretty.

Willing: None.

Say there’s like a whole box of your favorite snack in a room all by themselves. Say I left them there and told you not to eat any until I got back. How long would it take you to disobey my wishes?

I would never disobey you. My parents taught me that bad girls go to hell.

If I gave you a pencil and piece of paper and told you to draw something funny, what would you draw?

This sentence: Ifs, ands, and butts. Then, I’d draw a bottom. See, you’re smiling, aren’t you? 

Do you have a favorite Girl Scout Cookie?

I LOVE anything with the word, “butter” in it. So, I’d have to say Butter Cookies.

How many times does it take for you to listen to a song that you love before you actually hate it instead?

My favorite song is still, “Call Me Maybe.” Nuf said.

Finally, and this one is important, so please pay attention What do you think cats dream about?

No idea. I have a dog. But I DO know that dogs dream about running because their feet wiggle in their sleep.

This or That?

Tea or Coffee? Strong, black coffee

Winter or Summer? Winter

Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla (with chocolate chips)

Vintage or New? Vintage

Fried or Scrambled? Fried, over medium




It started as a dream vacation in Spain, with Fay and Paul Agarra enjoying all the delights of a European holiday. A respected New York City judge, Paul has always been the man Fay can rely on, no matter what. When he inexplicably disappears from a Barcelona street corner, Fay knows something is terribly wrong. Once reunited, Paul shrugs off the episode as a simple misunderstanding—but Fay suspects her almost perfect life has taken a dark and sudden turn. Soon there are more signs that Paul is beginning to change. Bouts of forgetfulness lead to mistakes in the courtroom. Simple tasks cause unexplainable outbursts of anger. Fay’s worst suspicions are realized when she learns her husband—her rock, her love, her everything—is succumbing to the ravages of dementia. As her husband transforms before her very eyes, Fay copes with her fears by retreating into a fantasy life filled with promise instead of pain. In Fay’s invented world, she imagines herself living a glamorous life free from heartache, with a handsome neighbor she barely knows rescuing her from a future she can’t accept. Poignant and beautifully crafted, Left is an unforgettable tale about life’s aching uncertainties—and a woman who discovers that somewhere between hope and reality, an unexpected future will find its way forward.



“A touching novel. The book poignantly portrays Faye’s struggle to come to terms with…uncomfortable yet necessary questions about the conditions of love.”—Publishers Weekly

“Hogan (The Woman in the Photo, 2016) does a good job of mixing humor and heartbreak in this sharply observed novel, drawn from her own experience.”Booklist





 Mary Hogan.JPG


MARY HOGAN is the bestselling author of Two Sisters and the historical novel, The Woman in the Photo. Previous novels include the young adult titles, The Serious Kiss, Perfect Girl and Pretty Face (HarperCollins).

Mary lives in New York City with her husband, actor Robert Hogan, and their Catahoula Leopard rescue dog, Lucy. Find out more at 

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