I don’t write every day. I wish I could, but some days other parts of life just get in the way – like paying bills and going to the grocery store and doing errands. When I do write, however, I usually do it in this little nook in our bedroom. (And, yes, our cat, Cinnamon, is a great assistant.) The windows make the area bright and there’s also a French door, just out of the frame, which opens to the back yard. I’ve written two books, mostly while sitting on this banquette, although I’ve definitely logged some hours while traveling as well. Once in a while I’ll take my laptop into the kitchen and write in there – it’s also a sunny space – or I’ll leave the house altogether and find a place to write outside. Anything to keep my brain going.
Several years ago I was on a Delta flight, going from New York to Florida, and on the last page of the airline’s in-flight magazine I found an essay entitled, “Writing, a Romance,” by author Libba Bray. Although my first novel had not yet been published (that wouldn’t happen until the summer of 2013) or even accepted (that took place in January of 2012), I was far enough into writing it that I understood well what Bray was talking about, and could appreciate her sentiments and her humor. If you’ve ever written anything that’s required a lot of work and many revisions, you’ll probably relate to it as well and find yourself laughing, as I did on that flight. Read Libba’s essay.
If you’re looking for the town of Dorset, Connecticut on a map, you won’t find it. When I wrote my first novel, The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Café, I decided to create my own town of Beacon, Maine. Although Beacon was inspired by real towns I’d seen in Maine over the years, I took bits and pieces from several places, added a hefty dose of imagination, and came up with the final setting.
I used a similar approach to create Dorset in The Rules of Love & Grammar. I grew up in Darien, Connecticut, so writing about the state where I spent most of my life was fun. In creating the adolescent backstory for the main character, [Read more…]
Well, my second novel, The Rules of Love & Grammar, just came out this Monday in Germany (the title there is Der Sommer der Sternschnuppen or The Summer of Shooting Stars) and I’m VERY excited to report that by Wednesday it was number 25 on their paperback bestseller list. On May 31 the book will be published in the U.S. and I’m really looking forward to that.
The book has been out of my hands for weeks now, while my publishers in the U.S. and Germany have been doing what they do to get it ready to send it out into the world. It’s kind of like going through an “empty nest” syndrome for me, similar to how people feel when their kids go off to college. So I’ve been thinking about my third novel. [Read more…]
When I was a child and I found myself in a museum, I’d start fantasizing about walking into the paintings, as the characters in Mary Poppins did when they jumped into the sidewalk art that Bert, the Chimney Sweep, created. I didn’t want to be with dancing penguins and galloping carousel horses, though. I wanted to walk beside the purple irises in Monet’s garden at Giverny or climb the red mountain peaks Paul Gauguin painted in his Tahitian landscapes.
Maybe this wish to immerse myself in a painting is what led me to fall in love with writing and photography, because the act of writing about or photographing something does, in a way, let you walk into a picture – you’re capturing that scene on your own terms.
Photography is only a hobby for me, but it’s a serious one. Since the age of six, I’ve had one camera or another in my hands, from the simplest of Kodaks to the string of Nikons that’s carried me through my adult life. [Read more…]