interview, part two at writer unboxed

Kathleen Bolton has posted the second half of the interview she did with me for Writer Unboxed. But before you go read it, I have to clarify something.

I’m not superwoman. I have the same doubts and fears everbody else has every morning when I look at what I have to get done. I obsess about a whole list of things– just like everybody else. It’s true that I’ve done a wide variety of things in my life thus far, but that can be put down to boredom or irritation.

A short confessional:

My study is a mess.

The library alcove in the house? I had to hire somebody else to organize it because it was so nutsy out of hand.

I lose paperwork, on a regular basis. Not ads or flyers, but bills to be paid and forms my agent needs me to fill out. I once lost a check for $5,000 and had to ask for it to be reissued.
I stare at a blank screen every day and panic. I was reading a biography of Norman Rockwell lately and I laughed out loud when I read his summary of his work process: 1. Hey, this is looking like it’ll turn out pretty good 2. My God, I’ve ruined it. Look at this mess! 3. Wait. Maybe I could –.

How many paintings and illustrations did the man do? Hundreds and hundreds, and every time he stood in front of his easel, it was the same thing, the same set of doubts and worries and beatijng himself up.

So read the interview, if you are curious. But remember I do not own a red cape nor do I look even slightly wonderwomanish.

But it is a wonderful interview. If I had a presskit, I’d make sure to put a copy of this interview in it.

Diana Norman aka Ariana Franklin interview

[asa book]0399154647[/asa] I know I have to follow up on my awful dialog from a few posts ago, and I will do that. But right this moment I wanted to share some news:

Sometime soon I’ll be interviewing Diana Norman (also known as Ariana Franklin). I will post a short article about her along with the interview, most likely in two parts. Many of you are avid fans of Diana’s novels, I know. My hope is that this interview will provide some insight into her work and methods, and if we are lucky, what’s coming next.

You may recall that I have reviewed more than one of her novels here: Mistress of the Art of Death, Catch of Consequence, Vizard Mask, City of Shadows, Taking Liberties.

Her next novel to be published in the States is The Serpent’s Tale, on January 31, 2008. It’s the second in a trilogy that began with Mistress of the Art of Death. I’ve already preordered it.

interview at writer unboxed

Kathleen Bolton at Writer Unboxed just posted an interview she did with me, which you can find here, if you’re interested.

Writer Unboxed is worth a look in any case. I like the atmosphere there, which is exploratory and thoughtful. The blurb about the blog:

Writer Unboxed began as a collaboration between aspiring novelists Therese Walsh and Kathleen Bolton. They often dissected great books and movies, trying to hone in on what made them work so well, and had even written and published an article about Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings. When a second article idea was rejected for publication, they decided to create their own forum where they could broadcast their observations anytime they wished. Writer Unboxed was born.

The goal of the site is to help “unbox” genre-fiction writing through a discussion of craft and by interviewing authors who’ve already done it with style. Kath and Therese are thrilled that the site has now expanded to include other writers and industry leaders in publishing and the blogosphere.

interview with the wilderness crowd

Regarding this post: I thought I had posted this a long time ago, but I can’t find it in the database. If I did post it, I apologize for the repetition. If you haven’t seen it before, it’s a transcript of one of my meetings with my characters. It was written some time ago — at least six months — but it’s still pretty relevant. I ask questions; the answers in bold face.
So, who wants to get this story started? Elizabeth?

No thank you very much. It’s time for someone else to have a turn.


You know me better than that.


You can’t handle my story.

Lily. Come on.

Possibly. Let me talk it over with Simon. But you do realize we’ve been away from Paradise for a long time?


Look around this village, you’ll see I don’t have time. And please don’t ask Ben, he’s distracted enough as it is.

But Hannah, I can’t just ignore him. Ben?

Happy people make boring fiction, I’ve read that on your weblog a number of times.

You read my weblog?

We all do.

Jennet! You’ll get us started, won’t you?

Ye ken we spend half the year in Manhattan, aye? I fear I couldnae do it justice.

Carrie? Gabriel?

I mean no disrespect, but I hardly know you. And Gabriel isn’t here. He’s never here. Go up to Lake in the Clouds if you want to talk to him.


I don’t tell stories the way you do.

Curiosity. Hello.

Don’t you play games, missy. I know you’ve had your eye on me this whole while.

Shouldn’t I have my eye on you? It’s your turn.

You think you so clever, but I’m wise to you. I surely am.

I don’t know what you mean.

Is that so? And ain’t you the one who pulled me out of thin air? You know what’s holding things up, you just don’t want to face it.

Now I’m curious. Go on.

One thing you keep forgetting. You know us all because you gave us breath and bone alike, but we know you too. We know you down deep.

Wonderful. So tell me, why don’t you: why does every path I try dry up? Why won’t any of you talk?

You make me laugh, you do. You say you listening, but you ain’t. Not really. One of us whisper something in your ear and you turn away.

You mean that image I keep getting.

You know I do mean just exactly that.

The [] family around the table and the terrible silence.

Didn’t I tell you? You know already. You just don’t like what you know. Last time you come to stay with us was hard. Took a lot out of you. Took a lot out of Hannah, too, but it’s been ten years now for Hannah. She had the time to heal and catch her breath. Get her feet back under her. You got to rush back in. I ain’t surprised you dragging your feet.

Hey. I sit here writing and rewriting every day.

Uhuh. Like a child digging in sand with the tide coming in. Now, don’t you think for one minute I ain’t took note of the fact that you changed the subject. You said something about the [] family around a table and then you turned your back on it.

So I need to start with the []?

I ain’t said that. You the one tapping away, putting the words down. I’ll say this one more time, and you had best take it to heart. You forgot how to listen to us, because you lost your talent for sorrow. You want to tell a happy story, but there’s more going on here. We got happy, sure we do, but that’s just the sugar that makes the medicine go down.

I don’t think that’s it.

No? And here I was thinking you needed help. So what is holding things up?.

There’s just too much story to tell, it’s overwhelming.

Lot of story ain’t never slowed you down before.

That’s true.

Times so much happening so fast, my head like to bust but you sail right along.

Yes, okay. But this time feels different. It feels like–

The end of things.

I suppose.

Look here, you let me get this old. Now you got to show me it was worth it, all this long time, all these words. More than a million words. You got to pull it all together now, I been waiting long enough.

So you’ll finally tell all those secrets you’ve been keeping?

If you writing, I’m telling. Now or never.