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Westport Author to Speak at Weston Library

WESTON, Conn. – Charlotte Rogan , the Westport author of “The Lifeboat,” a highly acclaimed first novel that was published April 3, will speak at a luncheon at noon June 5 at the Weston Public Library.

The novel focuses on a woman’s struggle to survive on a lifeboat after a shipwreck in 1914, in which she is rescued and then put on trial for the murder of one of her companions.

She said the book was based on legal cases, in which shipwrecked sailors were put on trial, and her own experiences on boats as a child.

“My dad was a big sailor and kept a boat at the Pequot Yacht Club in Westport,” she said.

Rogan returned to Westport two years ago after living in Dallas, where she raised triplets and started writing. She also spent a year in Johannesburg,South Africa, where her husband was based briefly as a lawyer for Siemens.

At the Weston library event, she plans to talk about truth in fiction. She’ll discuss the 19th century legal cases that are a source for her story. She said, “Fiction is a work of the imagination, but we draw on our experiences when we write.”

When asked what advice she has for prospective writers, the first thing she said was, “Stick with it. It paid off for me because I’d been writing for 25 years before I got published.”

She also said writers should look for resources in town to make connections. She suggests Write Yourself Free , a writer’s room in Westport that has writer’s workshops and other events for writers.

“To get published, you have to get good enough at your craft, but you also have to focus on the marketing connections and finding people to help you get published. You can’t neglect the business side of it,” she said.

Rogan is appearing at libraries and book shops to promote “The Lifeboat,” and has been interviewed by multiple news outlets and asked to write nonfiction articles.

“Now, I have to get back to real writing,” she said, indicating she’s at work on another novel that is set in South Africa.

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