Marlene Wagman-Gellar is the arm-chair literary detective behind such books as Once Again to Zelda, which explores the dedications of famous books, And the Rest is History about the meetings of famous passionate couples, and her most recent, Behind Every Great Man: Forgotten Women Behind the World’s Famous and Infamous. Ms. Wagman-Gellar was kind enough to take time from her busy teaching and promotion schedule to discuss her writing career and her most recent book.
FGN: Your books mostly focus on the histories and lives of famous couples. What started your interest in this? What caused you to turn it from an interest into a writing career?
FGN: How did your research process differ from Once Again to Zelda to your most recent book, Behind Every Great Man: Forgotten Women Behind the World’s Famous and Infamous?
Marlene Wagman-Gellar: The most heat-breaking and the most romantic was the story of Simon and Cyla Wiesenthal. Before my research I only
thought of him as the famous Nazi Hunter-the man behind the Los Angeles Museum of Tolerance. After research, I discovered that Simon and Cyla were separated by the Holocaust and each believed the other had died. Their miraculous and touching reunion was heart-breaking and showed that the power of love overcame the power of darkness.
FGN: Of all the books you’ve written, which was the most fun to write? Which was the most difficult?
FGN: Has any particular famous figure completely surprised you and been far different than who you expected to uncover?
Marlene Wagman-Gellar: Yes-Mohandas Gandhi. I never considered the Mohandas as a family man. However, he was the wife of Katsurba and the father of their four sons. Suffice it to say, it was never easy being Mrs. Mohandas.
FGN: Other than playing history detective, what other hobbies do you have?
FGN: Do you have any particular rituals for when you sit down to write (ie. coffee, certain types of music, yoga)?
FGN: What advice can you offer to women about making themselves a part of History?
FGN: Do you have any other projects plan we should look for?
Marlene Wagman-Gellar: I pray my fourth book will not be my last. I am fortunate to have a wonderful literary agent so with his help-and the grace of the gods-there will be another. As I have learned, dreams do not just have to be for sleeping.
FGN: Where can our readers follow your most recent projects?
Marlene Wagman-Gellar: I have a webpage marlenewagmangeller.com, an Amazon Author’s page and can be reached at [email protected]. I answer each email and would love if anyone posted a review on Amazon.
Behind Every Great Man: Forgotten Women Behind the World’s Famous and Infamous/a> is now available from Sourcebooks.
You may find our review of it here.