When I met up with an old friend this weekend, she asked how a novel could go through 10 or more revisions and what that looks like. She was really interested in the nitty-gritty. Explaining my process often makes me aware of how messy it is, how unlike the organized planning, outlining and drafting that my friend was expecting. I do outline, but not until after I have a rough draft, and then I routinely throw out large chunks and rewrite new ones.
Her questions made me wonder how I… Continue reading
When my characters descend into tunnels deep under the earth, I go along with them, craving sunlight the whole way. The silence and darkness under dense layers of stone, the cool, heavy air that sinks into my lungs, and the sense of endless, geological time all oppress and fascinate me.
I visited Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico last year, fulfilling a life-long dream, and now I recall those deep spaces whenever I send a character underground.
I relive… Continue reading
My first pass pages came this weekend, and now I’m going over the manuscript once more on paper to write in any last changes. It’s a good way to catch small, subtle things, like if I have too many descriptions of sunlight on one page, or if I use “grim” too frequently. I have to be careful, of course, because if I add a head dipping motion as someone crosses beneath a laundry line, I need to be sure it doesn’t double up… Continue reading
We’re nearing the end of National Library Week, and this year’s theme is “Libraries Transform.” Indeed they do. Our local Mansfield Library Express has recently opened a reading room for patrons to enjoy, and readers can have any books in the system delivered there for easy pick up.
If… Continue reading
My grandaunt Alice M. O’Brien volunteered with the Red Cross during World War 1 and wrote letters home detailing her experiences building a car, serving in canteens, driving for supplies, and caring for wounded soldiers in the hospitals. She reports regularly of the bombs flying overhead and the courage of the allied troops in vivid, telling prose.
My sister, historian Nancy O’Brien Wagner, has edited Alice’s letters, annotated them with pertinent historical facts,… Continue reading
We worked out the final version of the jacket copy for The Keep of Ages this week, and I redrew the map to send along to the artist. The book is currently with the proofreader. It feels like we’re getting closer and closer to finishing up this project, and I’m excited about it coming out in August. Four months! That’s not so long from now!
We also had an hour of sunshine here in Connecticut for the first time in weeks, and that’s worth celebrating!