Over Many a Quaint and Curious Volume: A Fiction Writer on the Pleasures of Research

Shields Library, UC Davis, egghead
Shields Library, UC Davis

When I was working on Landfalls, my novel about the Lapérouse expedition, I used to joke that the whole endeavor was just an excuse to go to the library—but I wasn’t always sure I was joking.

One of the reasons the project took so long—besides my painfully slow writing and the demands of grad school and work and, you know, family—was the time I spent researching. There was always one more book to read, one more lead to chase down, one more link to click, one more intriguing footnote I had to follow up on.

It could be a problem. Continue reading

10 Questions About My Book: A Next Big Thing Blog Hop Posting

Reference books for my La Pérouse project

My friend, writer and fellow (sister?) Hedgebrook alum Christine Lee Zilka, tagged me this week to talk about my current writing project as part of a “Next Big Thing” blog hop.

I don’t ordinarily go for these “I’ll-link-to-your-blog-if-you-link-to-mine” arrangements, but this one, which involves answering ten specific questions about a current or next project, actually looked fun. And Christine’s quite engaging post, with its great photo of her door-o’-color-coded-post-its, inspired me to give it a try. Continue reading