I usually start out with asking an author what inspired their story, but I feel like this one is pretty obvious! So, how about: Did this story give you any surprises or take any unexpected twists while you were writing it?
It’s rare for me to sit down and write a story from start to finish without pausing to catch a breath, but that’s how this story went. No surprises, no unexpected twists (for me, though several for the reader, I expect). This story was propelled by rage from start to finish. Like one of those moments when you are angry—so angry that every thought leads to some another thought that makes you even angrier. And I really enjoyed channeling all that anger into a character who was so cool and so much in control and so polite and outwardly respectful as she enjoyed each twist of the knife.
I suppose one surprise was how very much I enjoy reading this story aloud. Such fun to watch as the audience gradually realizes where this is going.
The voice was fun. I could hear so clearly the caller’s repressed glee and the unvoiced but obviously incredulous responses. Was this always how you envisioned this situation playing out, or were there other structures besides a phone call that you considered?
From the start, the story was a conversation in which the reader could hear only one side. I really wanted the character to have her say without interruption, and a phone call seemed like the best way to keep the Senator’s voice silent for the duration. I mean, he already had his say, didn’t he?
What else have you been working on lately?
I’m working on a novel titled The Adventure of Mrs. Darling. I’ve always been fascinated by the novel Peter Pan. The character who interests me most is Mrs. Darling, Wendy’s mother. From her point of view, this is a child abduction story. She comes home from a dinner party and her children are gone. Now if you were the victim of a crime in London in the late 1800s, who would you ask for help?
Sherlock Holmes, of course. And no one knows this but me (and all the people I have told), but Mrs. Darling is Dr. Watson’s niece. And she doesn’t much care for Sherlock.
I’ll stop there, but as you can imagine, I’m having a great time writing this book. Like “Motherhood,” it’s enormous fun to read aloud for an audience.
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