The pursuit to publish is at high speed. Insomnia and an endless list of “to-dos” govern my days and nights. A variety of caffeinated drinks fuel the fire while each word on the page quenches the longing to see this novel in print. We’re almost there so let’s roll with some momentum!
Over the years, especially the last two, I’ve been asked some repetitive questions that must mean inquiring minds want to know. I figured, why not make this fun? Blog it! So, this week I’m going to answer those questions. Here we go…
“Tell me about your novels…”
My response is always the same. I stare back with a blank face. How do you explain another life or world that exists in your head? There is no easy answer, that’s why I’ve written the story in the first place. Compelled to say something, I usually say, “Flowers In Winter is about a girl…”
STOP! That’s a lie. Sarah tells her story, but there are others. There are events, places, even time has an integral roll in how the story plays out.
“Is Flowers In Winter about your life?”
Ha! I once argued with an English professor that our analysis of literature was limited without the specific insight of the author. I just couldn’t imagine anyone being so cocky as to assume they knew the meaning of an author’s work without evidence. That was the end of my dream of becoming an English professor. Hello, History!
As an author, I maintain my theory. When I sit down to write I don’t consider hidden meanings or humanity-shaking imagery. In most cases, I’m just happy if anything on the page makes sense. Yes, there are pieces of me in all my projects but in no way, is there anything auto-biographical (blogs excluded as they come from my day-to-day experiences).
“How long has it taken you to write Flowers In Winter?”
Well now, that’s a loaded question! In 2007, I started what will be the 3rd book in the Bear River Collection. At one point, I burned my handwritten draft. I started again only because of a nagging feeling that I had a story to tell. Uncomfortable with myself and the process, I didn’t track how much I was writing. I’d pick it up and put it down like the crochet scarf in my closet that may never get finished.
2012 rolled around and I felt compelled to dust off the manuscript following a lengthy hiatus. A new kind of fervor had emerged, my gut bellowed, it was time to get serious about this writing business! My writing held my fragile heart on each page, I needed an opinion but wasn’t sure I could share it. My best friend urged me forward, it was early autumn when we sat down and read through the manuscript together. Both of us were a little shocked at how dark the material was. It was indicative of the time that I’d written it, I knew I needed to make some changes and the hamster wheel began to turn…almost a year later I had the initial draft of Flowers In Winter.
“Is it hard for you to write?”
Of course, darling! All good things stretch your boundaries and force you to grow. Writing is the place where I dare to be me, no expectations except my own and I hope it stays that way for as long as I can work my craft. My soul bleeds on the pages. I adore my characters, even the complex and abhorrent ones. They all have stories, I see their souls and love them for what they offer. It’s true, I cry over them and even cuss them on occasion. My real-life family just shakes their heads as I plunk away at the keyboard, crying, laughing or sometimes tossing a pen and stomping around the room.
All of this is but the tip of the iceberg. Today I’m thankful for the generous support of family, friends, critique partners, and beta readers who are helping this dream become a reality. Keep checking in, with any luck we’ll launch Flowers In Winter with the holidays.
See you soon-