1) Your Journey as an Author…..The Sleeping Serpent is my debut novel. I wrote the story that compelled me. It had been trying to escape for several years. I wasn’t ready to allow it to emerge until January 2013 and then I wrote unwaveringly for three years until publishing The Sleeping Serpent in October of 2015. It is a psychological erotic thriller about a narcissistic abusive yoga guru who seduces women for his personal gain.
The story flowed out of me without any obstacles. Then it was easy to go back and work on making beautiful sentences, and tweaking structure. I love richly written detail that describes place and enhances the character development, such as what people are wearing, eating, music they are listening to, and even what car they drive. I have been praised by readers for exquisite description and I have also been criticized for it.
I consider myself a Creator. In my life I have been a ballet dancer, painter, experimented with poetry, interior design and crafting, and made a living creating the wardrobe looks for characters. I feel that writing The Sleeping Serpent has stretched me creatively. This has been probably the most creative process I have experienced.
2) What reading means to you…..I usually read two or three books at a time—non-fiction on subjects that interest me or are research for what I am writing. And always a novel. Right now I am reading The Hero with a Thousand Faces for a greater understanding of the hero’s journey. Cutting for Stone a novel. And the new Elizabeth Gilbert book Big Magic, about creativity written with Liz’s wit and spiritual insight.
I rarely read disposable genre fiction. I love beautiful sentences, character description, the psychological workings driving motivation, and a thought provoking story. I adore the works of Jhumpa Lahiri that are rich in character description. Ian McEwan never fails to take my breath away with beautiful sentences that reveal the dark side of the soul. I love Elizabeth Gilbert for her wit and eloquence. Her memoir, Eat Pray Love, is inspired. I can add to that Hemingway for simplicity and Isak Dinesen’s Out of Africa for eloquence and vivid description. Donna Tart’s Goldfinch was magnificent. Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina inspired The Sleeping Serpent, and The Death of Ivan Ilyich is an inspiration for the book I am writing now. I could go on…
3) Whats next for you…..Recently, I have been reading about affliction—suffering that imbues one’s soul—in an essay by the French philosopher Simone Weil. I am exploring the spiritual question how humans can have hope or faith when suffering something so internally painful. Can it be surmounted? In the novel I am currently writing, the hero is deeply afflicted and goes on The Hero’s Journey in a quest for redemption. These are iconic themes in mythology and literature from The Odyssey to Lord of the Rings. One of the greatest examples of a classic redemption story is the poem by Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner which explores the themes of shame and guilt and the spiritual process of redemption. I am enjoying reading these classic stories and allowing the spirit to move through me. This next novel will take some time to come to fruition.