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Character Interview | Meet Rae Hart Eiger (also known as Nana) from Rag Lady by Susie Black #books



Hello everyone. I am Rae Hart Eiger. I am Holly Schlivnik’s maternal Grandmother. I live in Miami, Florida near Holly’s parents. I love to play cards with my friends and spend time with my family. I see so much of me in Holly: Holly is irreverent, sarcastic, adventuresome, fearless, and loyal to a fault just like me. She has my wicked sense of humor. She and I also share a love of jewelry and perfume.

 

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

 

A winning canasta hand and later sharing a meal with my family.

 

What is your greatest fear?

 

Death. Regrettably, my granddaughter Holly inherited my fear of death which we both overcompensate for by laughing whenever we hear of a death. Believe me, this quirky personality trait is no laughing matter and has been a source of embarrassment for both of us.

 

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

 

Impatience. I was the child who repeated “Are we there yet?” so many times I drove my parents to utter distraction. They always cautioned me not to rush my life away. In retrospect, how right they were. Isn’t it funny that the older you get, the smarter your parents become?

 

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

 

Dishonesty. There is no room in my life for someone who is not truthful…even when…no, ESPECIALLY when it hurts to be honest.

 

Which living person do you most admire?

 

Michelle Obama. In my opinion, Mrs. Obama is brilliant and the personification of courage, grace, and style.

 

What is your greatest extravagance?

 

Perfume. I love to smell wonderful. One of my all-time favorite pastimes is browsing cosmetic counters and testing new fragrances. I would no more leave the house without spritzing a delicious perfume on than I would go out without wearing underwear.

 

What is your current state of mind?

 

Regrettably, forgetful. Trust me, aging is not for sissies.

 

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

 

Righteousness. Nothing sends me over the edge more than a self-righteous, gloating know-it-all who has never uttered these three words in their entire life: I. Don’t. Know.

 

On what occasion do you lie?

 

Only to prevent hurting someone unnecessarily.

 

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

 

I have a round, protruding tummy that makes me look perpetually pregnant.

 

Which living person do you most despise?

 

Donald Trump. He is an ignorant, dangerous bigot who could not carry Barack Obama’s jockstrap. He is a traitor who sold out our country to Putin to save his own skin. Are you shocked by my bluntness? Oh, well. Hey, one of the benefits of becoming a senior citizen is that people expect you to not only speak your mind but say outrageous things. We also don’t give a rat’s ass what anyone else thinks and say the things many folks think to themselves but are reluctant to say out loud. So, I am merely doing what is expected and, in my opinion, a public service.

 

What is the quality you most like in a man?

 

A great sense of humor and the ability to laugh at himself…and of course, it goes without saying…he’s gotta have a great tush.

 

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

 

Compassion.

 

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

 

Oye Vey.

 

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

 

My family.

 

When and where were you happiest?

 

Being present at the births of my precious grandchildren.

 

Which talent would you most like to have?

 

I would love to play the piano. Years ago, I took lessons and can play simple songs, but I never became proficient enough to play classical music, which I love.

 

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

 

My poor eyesight. I am blind as a bat without my coke-bottle-thick eyeglasses.

 

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

 

Getting my driver’s license. I am sure I set a Guiness World’s Record for the number of driving lessons I took, but at the ripe old age of 60, I passed the written and road tests and got my license. Of course, with my poor eyesight…think sharing the road with Mr. Magoo. Watch out!

 

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

 

No question about it…a standard French Poodle. Trust me, NO ONE is more pampered, spoiled, or adored than my granddaughter Holly’s standard French Poodle Sigmund Freud Schlivnik.

 

Where would you most like to live?

 

Wherever my family is…hopefully, someplace warm. I had a lifetime of snow and cold temperatures and at my age, freezing my tush off is not something I relish experiencing again.

 

What is your most treasured possession?

 

A set of inlaid brass Shabbos candlesticks. These were a wedding gift from my grandparents to my parents and were the only thing my mother could take with her when she escaped from a Pogrom in the dead of night from Warsaw, Poland.

 

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

 

Regret. It is without a doubt the worst human emotion because it is the one we can usually do nothing about. 

 

What is your favorite occupation?

 

If I could be anything, it would be a stand-up comedienne. Laughter is the best medicine. I can think of nothing more gratifying than giving people the gift of laughter. And getting paid to do it makes it all the more special.

 

What is your most marked characteristic?

 

Irreverence.

 

What do you most value in your friends?

 

Respect, loyalty, and most of all, honesty…no matter what, true friends tell you what they really think, not what they think I want to hear.

 

Who are your favorite writers?

 

Elie Wiesel, Phillip Roth, Joseph Heller, Bernard Malamud, Herman Wouk, Leon Uris, Chaim Potok.

 

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

 

Anne Frank

 

Who are your heroes in real life?

 

Personal Hero: My mother, Fannie Hart…the epitome of bravery for swimming across the treacherous Warsaw River and traveling on foot and horseback for three months across Europe at night to escape pogroms and reunite with my father in England.

 

Historical Heroes: Golda Meir and Eleanor Roosevelt.

 

 What is it that you most dislike?

 

Cruelty of any kind… and oh, yeah…anchovies. NEVER put them on my pizza or for that matter, in the same room with me…never. Just a warning-proceed at your own peril…but understand-if you do, it won’t be pretty.

 

What is your greatest regret?

 

Never getting a college education and not traveling enough and seeing more of the world.

 

How would you like to die?

 

In my sleep at the end of a beautiful day where I enjoyed great food, great friends, and a day filled with love and laughter.

 

What is your motto?

 

Never stop believing in yourself.

 

Thank you, Rae, for the interview. You are just as funny and wise in real life as you are in Rag Lady. Readers, to get the full dose of Holly’s grandmother, keep scrolling.



Title: Rag Lady

 

Author: Susie Black

 

Genre: Women’s fiction

 

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

 

Book Blurb:

 

Recent college graduate Holly Schlivnik dreams of being a writer, but fate has other plans. A family crisis throws her into an improbable situation and her life will never be the same. Determined to make her own luck when things don’t happen the way she plans, the irrepressible young woman takes a sledge hammer to the glass ceiling and shatters it to smithereens. The wise-cracking, irreverent transplanted Californian takes you on a raucous, rollicking rollercoaster ride of her hysterical adventures as a ladies apparel sales rep traveling in the deep South as she ends up finding herself along the way.

 

Excerpt: 

 

Nana appraised me over the rim of her eyeglasses. “So, kiddo, I don’t mind telling you. You’ve looked better.”

 

I puffed the air out with my cheeks. “Right now, my life isn’t much fun.”

 

She smirked. “Life isn’t fun. It’s life. So, you’d better get used to it. So, why are your panties in a bunch?”

 

Nana listened without interrupting as I climbed onto the imaginary soapbox and railed over my plight. “The SOB kept calling me honey instead of Holly, even though I kept correcting him.” I clucked my tongue. “It doesn’t get more disrespectful than that.” My voice level rose in proportion to my outrage. “Then he asked if I took shorthand! My coffee mug jiggled when I slapped the table. “I can’t imagine anything more insulting. Shorthand, for crying out loud.”

 

Nana tsked her displeasure as she mopped the few drops of coffee I sloshed out of my cup with a napkin she took out of her apron pocket.

 

I wrinkled my nose. “Can you believe it? I told him no I didn’t, and he had the nerve to say and I quote, ‘Listen, honey, all the girls at this paper start in the secretarial pool’.” I jutted my jaw. “I told him my parents didn’t send me to college to end up as a secretary. I snatched my resume off his desk, took the little remaining of my dignity, and walked out.”

 

Nana blinked her owlish eyes and shrugged. “That’s it?”

 

Gape-mouthed, I speared her with an incredulous glare. “Yeah, that’s it. Isn’t it enough?  Nana, the secretarial pool, for God’s sake! I am an award-winning investigative reporter. I broke open a huge exam-cheating scandal and won every major collegiate journalism award. Then I became the first female editor of my college newspaper. I graduated Magna Cum Laude. I wanna be a writer not a secretary.”

 

Nana twisted her lips into a smirk. “So, since you stormed out, you’ll never know if you would have gotten the job.”

 

I spat. “I wouldn’t take it if he offered it.”

 

Nana grinned. “So, you expected to start at the top?”

 

Duh. Yeah, Nana. Ok, so, I didn’t say it out loud. Of course, Nana came equipped with the grandmother radar thing and figured out I said it to myself.

 

Nana tipped her head. “You ought to be grateful to the man for giving you a dose of the way the real world works.”

 

 Crap. This nana let you get away with nothing.

 

She pursed her lips into a funnel. “If you’re gonna make it through life intact, you’d better grow a thicker skin. You wanna be a writer? So, write. Do you want my advice? You better figure out how much you want to be a writer, and make sure it’s important enough to fight for. And if not, find something else to believe in, or you’ll live one heck of an empty life.”

 

I sputtered with the cadence of a car engine missing a sparkplug. “I guess you missed the day they taught Jewish Grandmother nurturing.” 

 

Nana rolled her owlish eyes. “Come on. My opinions should come as no surprise.”

 

She pointed to my chair and laughed. “You sit in that chair and ask me a question, I tell you what I think, not what I think you want to hear. Don’t overthink everything, because whatever is gonna happen, will, whether you go kicking and screaming, or recognize the time to question and the time to accept.” She waved a hand of dismissal. “You didn’t get the job you wanted. Boo hoo. Amazing. The world didn’t end. Things happen for a reason. The right thing will come along, and you’ll know it. Sit back and let life happen.”

 

She smiled and reached for the coffee pot. “For right now, have another cup of coffee.”

 

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Author Biography:

 

Named Best US Author of the Year by N. N. Lights Book Heaven, award-winning cozy mystery author Susie Black was born in the Big Apple but now calls sunny Southern California home. Like the protagonist in her Holly Swimsuit Mystery Series, Susie is a successful apparel sales executive. Susie began telling stories as soon as she learned to talk. Now she’s telling all the stories from her garment industry experiences in humorous mysteries.

 

She reads, writes, and speaks Spanish, albeit with an accent that sounds like Mildred from Michigan went on a Mexican vacation and is trying to fit in with the locals. Since life without pizza and ice cream as her core food groups wouldn’t be worth living, she’s a dedicated walker to keep her girlish figure. A voracious reader, she’s also an avid stamp collector. Susie lives with a highly intelligent man and has one incredibly brainy but smart-aleck adult son who inexplicably blames his sarcasm on an inherited genetic defect.

 

Looking for more? Contact Susie at:

 

Social Media Links:

 

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