Interview with Sandy Rosenthal

Hello Sandy, Welcome to Brand.Education! Tell us what drives you to write? Your motivation and the purpose of your book?
Anyone who was old enough to watch television in August of 2005 recalls watching the horrific flooding of New Orleans. For more than a full week, the world was glued, all day long, to television sets. There were people on roofs for days and days, with no help in sight. But only a tiny fraction of those people knows why those levees broke, killing 1500+ people and nearly wiping out a whole city. My book––a horror story, a mystery, and David and Goliath story all in one––tells the full story. 

What do you hope readers will get out of your books? How will they feel or be different after reading it?
The people of New Orleans were blamed for their misfortune in 2005. They were called stupid for living there and imbeciles for returning home afterward. This was painful to see after the initial pain of losing everything, including loved ones. My intention was to right the misinformation and bust the myths. After reading my book, readers will know the full and true story of the worst engineering disaster in the history of the United States; the worst in the world second only to Chernobyl.  

What books did you read as a kid/young adult? What are you reading today? How have other authors inspired your writing?
When I was a child, my favorite books were about wild animals. Even today I still enjoy books about wild animals, though they’re not my favoriate any more. Today, my preference is historical novels. I love a good story, while at the same time, learning some history about our world.

What is one thing in your book that will surprise readers? (no spoilers though!)
I think my readers will be surprised to learn that I was born profoundly deaf. Since I have never had the hearing of a normal person, I learned as a baby, to speak based on what I heard. For example, instead of “church” I would say “shush”. I took speech therapy at the age of 40 to correct the dozens of speech errors I had made all my life. This therapy gave me confidence to lead a movement that would, one day, change the way the entire world talks about the flooding event of August 2005 in New Orleans. 

What are you working on next? More books?
With each day that passes, I feel the 20th anniversary of the levee breach event moving closer and closer. I am preparing even now for this event! But no more books! I plan to be a “one book wonder!”  

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Listen to Sandy’s interview on The Relatable Voice Podcast and access

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