On All of the Work

I’m wondering about the time involved in creating your work. Did these stories take months or years to write? Did it take like nineteen years to do research on the Civil War, which is not a light subject, even if you’re writing fiction? Mostly, when the books are done are they done, or do you poke around them with the endless possibilities since you’re often juggling a lot of balls?

 —Tom Champion, Portland, Oregon

Tom, this is a particularly useful question to get from you because it takes me back to the time you were helping with our insane project of remodeling that ancient farmhouse in Wisconsin. Read more…

How would you describe the relationship, if any, between the novels you write? Do you consciously attempt to establish consistency in style or theme, so that your work has a signature “voice” that you are developing? Or with each new book do you attempt to reinvent your writing style and approach?                                                                                               

—Elizabeth Sheinkman, London

Some of these questions are hard! I have lots of thoughts about this one, Elizabeth, but for some reason it reminds me of a bit of craft wisdom I heard from the writer Gary Soto and have often passed on to writing students. Read more…

How grounded are your novels and stories in your personal history in terms of ancestry or a location/setting you’re closely familiar with such as Indiana or western Wisconsin?

 —John Minczeski, St. Paul, Minnesota

I guess I can start right away by letting the cat slip out of the bag on this question, John. Read more…

Do you have a favorite among your books?

—Jane Schraceo, Decatur, Texas

I’ve sometimes wondered that myself. In the most general sense, I think it’s analagous to how a parent feels about a child. Read more

Permanent link to this article: http://emilymeier.com/interview/on-all-the-work