Restoration spells oblivion
The fact that the novel is out, being read by both friends and strangers, is rather mind-boggling. And the publishers and booksellers have been so supportive. This subject matter is so intriguing!
Where did your original inspiration stem from? Before I started writing anything — before I knew this book would exist — I was reading various historical narratives just out of curiosity the history of Tammany Hall, the history of garbage, the history of magic lantern shows and early cinema. So, whether consciously or not, a lot of those influences worked their way into the book.
When I was farther along in the writing process, I went back and read up on specific subjects: medical practices, pugilism, subcultures in the city in the 19th century. For me, writing historical fiction is like an exhilarating tightrope act — on one hand, I want to bring a sense of authenticity to a world that really existed; on the other, I fully embrace the fact that any novel is and should be a feat of imagination.
Did you run into any challenges either in your research or just in the writing itself? How did you overcome those? Definitely — I went through many drafts. In a way, research was the easiest part — and the best way to procrastinate! Sometimes I wanted desperately to find just one scintillating tidbit of information, one anecdote or detail that would magically unlock the whole book — suddenly everything that had eluded or frustrated me would fall gorgeously into place!
All my problems would be solved! But in the end, of course, I had to sit down day after day, hour after hour, and find my own way through.
Once I allowed myself the freedom to invent smaller histories, to bend a few facts to suit the world of the story, to emphasize and explore the emotional truths of the characters — rather than just tick the boxes for historical accuracy — the story really took off. It became a lot more enjoyable — and, in a surprising way, more real.
Describe your writing process a little in terms of writing four different storylines that are very different from each that then come together. They began as four different character sketches, initially. Then those sketches became narratives, then the narratives braided together into a novel. I developed a loose outline as I was writing — focused enough to give the story some shape and purpose, but flexible enough to change course if I suddenly found myself in new territory.
But that plan — both for logistical and aesthetic reasons — fell through pretty quickly. It was important to me that the characters, despite their different backgrounds and experiences, all lived in the same recognizable universe. In order to establish that consistency of tone, of voice, I found it better to trade off writing chapters. I tried to stay present, in the minds and bodies of the characters as they lived on the page moment to moment.
And if so can you hint at what it might be? I have a few projects underway. But I will say that one concerns California. Perhaps even Pasadena. Perhaps even Colorado Boulevard. Each month is a different discussion topic, and each month brings new refreshing feminist energy to In Other Words. The gatherings have been growing in popularity, and the last one was no different!
Huge round of applause is owed to Susan, who volunteered to take notes. Here are some of the big take-aways from the April gathering:.
- In a land of equality, racism.
- Gore Vidal.
- 70 Days Have Passed. 10 Days Remain..
- Blockbuster ‘Midway’ sinks faster than Japanese carriers at ... Midway.
- Theology of Ministry (New Edition (2nd & Subsequent) / REV Ed);
You heard it, Portland! Portland OR It has not been an easy decision. It is a job I have dedicated myself to, and one that I have loved. My years at the bookstore have been filled with literary pleasures and wonderful friends. No one has had better fortune in friends than I have. I am so grateful. My decision has been precipitated by recent events in my family these past several months: the loss of my mother who lived to an old age, and the loss of my sister, who did not.
I have already been graced with two more years on earth than my sister. Bookselling, especially the way I have done it, requires long days and long weeks. And that has been fine. I have truly and passionately loved every minute of it. Now it is time to turn my attention and focus to my family and my own work, to make some big jars and dinner sets and finish the long overdue book on sunken gardens and maybe host a party or two.
I look forward to taking my granddaughters to the Smithsonian and to being able to do more things with Joe. There are books all over my house waiting to be read.
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Third Editions, maison d'édition dédiée aux jeux vidéo et à la pop-culture - Third Editions
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