Deborah Eiseman with her latest books, In a Mother’s Arms and Portrait in Desperation.  (Ed Eiseman)

by Colleen Digney

May 31, 2019

The vision she conjured in her head of a lonely woman sitting on a staircase sparked Bronx author Deborah Eiseman’s chilling and suspenseful new romance novel, Portrait in Desperation.

There are many layers to unpack in this thriller with a romance intertwoven in the midst of it all.

The story follows the life of a 12-year-old girl who is forced into a marriage with no escape. The girl experiences physical and emotional abuse as she endures a controlling marriage.

The villain is an Albanian crime lord who is, “so evil and unthinkable that the reader wants him dead,” Eiseman told thisistheBronX. Referring to the process of inventing such a wicked man, she said, “I was impressed myself. Ultimately, I just had fun with it.”

Eiseman compares her writing process to the task of completing a jigsaw puzzle. She finds that fitting together the different pieces of the story and listening to the different voices to make sure they fit the characters are the most challenging aspects of writing. Nonetheless, it’s a challenge she relishes.

“It’s called a crazy and wild imagination,” she said.

Author Deborah Eiseman and her last book “In a Mother’s Arms” and a portrait she painted of her own mother. (photo by thisitheBronX)

She spent four full years researching the time period to create the characters for her previous historical novel, In A Mother’s Arms. But, this time around with Portrait in Desperation, she doesn’t pinpoint a specific time period, as the issues are more universal.

As reported in thisistheBronX, Eiseman’s first novel focused on the three women in her family who inspired the story. Unlike that book, a fictional tale based on reality, this newest book was created purely through her own imagination. Yet, she was inspired by the #MeToo movement to develop a character faced with struggles that she thinks many women will relate to.

If nothing else, Eiseman is prolific. Without skipping a beat she’s begun the process for her third novel. which she says will combine a love affair she discovered from the 17th and 18th century with what she called, “bipolar madness.”

This weekend Eiseman will participate in the BookExpo America 2019 at the Jacob Javits Center to present the two novels, Portrait in Desperation and In a Mother’s Arms. She says she’s looking forward to meeting her readers because she’s eager to receive feedback.