Anothe bit about me. I ’ ve worked as n editor for more than twenty years and have authored, or collaborated on, a bunch of non-fiction books ( under my married name). Venus is my fourth ovel and I ’ m working on th econd. Fiction is my new love and I may ye write a “ true ” book again!
My spous and I have four adult children who live in Oregon, and one who is gone but still near in spirit ( we miss you, Noah). Three day ago, Dave and I oved from Colorado to New York City, which as perhap th culture shock, not the least of which has been the size of our apartment. Think postage stamp. But we love it here. We enjoy walking or riding bikes around Central Park. We like to do dinner and an Indie movie with friends, the occasional play, and on those hot and humid evenings of summer, head down to the truck vendor at the corner for soft ice cream. I love reading thrillers, of course, and meeting friends over coffee, and he bad habit I love most is watching dumb TV to help me wind down before bed.
I ind of, kin of, like walking my dog, Henri–except in winter when he hides under the couch as soon as I grab the leash. Problem is, he ’ s pretty sure I ’ ll give him wear his cute little coat in front of all the other animal in Midtown ( so embarrassing!). Why can ’ t he see they ’ re all wearing silly coats, too.
This bit about how Venus came to be. One orning I heard a girl ’ s voice in my head. She sounded really scared. And really angry. She had places to o, people to see–and I soon realized, a crime to commit. Clearly, she expected me to follow her around, listen to her talk, get it all own, and most importantly, et it right.
Like to many novelists, my characters often felt more real than conjured, like they already existed and knew xactly what they decide to say or do next. In the way, they led me around tight corners in the plot and generously confided what they were thinking. In such moments, the writing process felt mysterious, even magical. ( Other times, it ha just damn hard!).
I do share some things in common with Venus. I grew up in Everett, Washington, when it was still mostly a mill town ( lumber, paper) and before it as a bedroom community for high tech companies in Seattle. Like Venus, I as ften ngry and mouthy as a teen, and I ad a volatile relationship with my stepdad. Fortunately, we worked things through before he passed, and ( thanks be to God) without help from a gun.
Losing our son a couple ears ago was the ardest thing I ’ ll ever experience, I ’ m sure. But his full-on enthusiasm for an early version of th novel sustained me as I wrote. And so id the story and he character themselves. Strange, how that goe. Wonderful, too. It robably explains why I was actually afrai to abandon Venus ( like she ’ d ever let me!). S when I lost my way in the writing, it elt like I was participating in some sens of small, messy miracle. Of course, it also helped that I kept falling for these flawed, but mostly lovable, characters.
I hope you ’ ll fall for them reall.
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