Soon I'll post a wrap-up of the fabulous Sweater Quest event in Concord, NH. Since I suffer from camnesia, it will be mostly image free. I swear that I need someone to shout at me me that I should be taking pictures. My brain. I worry about it.
But first, a moment to celebrate another knitting writer...
I am not a big reader of romance. My genre drug of choice involves rocket ships and aliens rather than kisses and cowboys. And yet I couldn't put Rachael Herron's How to Knit a Love Song down.
Maybe it was because of the knitting. Maybe I found it so gripping because Rachael has a knack for drawing believable characters that she then places in harms' way. Maybe it is because her prose is vivid and concise. Hard to say, really.
Rachael and I swapped books for this stop on the blog tour. I got to ask her some questions and vice versa. It's always fun trying to figure out how another writer's mind works...
It's pretty clear who Eliza is modeled on. How tricky was it to come up with the chapter headings without accidentally stealing from EZ? You did a great job with that, by the way. Did you try these out on knitters beforehand?
RH: Hee. Yep, Eliza started out as her own person , just a knitting sheep rancher, and Elizabeth Zimmerman wasn't even in my head at first, but as I grew to love Eliza, I wanted to everyone to love her like I did -- I wanted all the knitters in my fictional, parallel universe to revere her, as we do EZ in our own real world. I didn't try the quotes out on anyone beforehand, but I almost broke my hand googling myself several times, making sure there was no accidental overlap. As knitters, EZ's voice is internalized in us to such an extent that I didn't want to accidentally say something she had actually said. Thanks for recognizing that!
How helpful was your day job in terms of writing some of the scenes in the book (especially toward the end)? Were there particular incidents that inspired you? Or did it just kind of work out that way?
RH: I do like to give 911 dispatchers a little nod when I write, even though Cade hangs up on one in a scene (I think I mentioned that she's being pushy with the questions -- we DO tend to be that way sometimes). It's funny that in many books emergency assistance is required and requested, but it's never mentioned exactly HOW that assistance is gained. And I think my day job makes emergencies more common in my mind, which is a trait I have to fight against in my writing, actually. I'm always ready to throw in a medical emergency or a fire for drama, since they feel common to me, whereas in real life, the drama often exists without red lights and sirens. What has surprised you the most about being a published writer? And what will the next book hold, since Cade and Abigail seem fairly well wrapped up?
RH: I've been surprised by how nice people are. I shouldn't have been -- I have the nicest, most wonderful readers on my blog (yarnagogo.com) ever. But I got my first kind reviews by 5am the morning my book came out, and I keep hearing from readers who love the book, and every single time I hear from someone, I get chills down my spine. To be able to cheer someone, to please someone, to give someone pleasure, has been one of the biggest thrills of my life, and I didn't foresee how great this would feel.
RH: And we'll see Cade and Abigail again in the next book -- we'll actually see Abigail in the very first scene -- although the main love interests are two new people, a bookseller and a cop. There are two more books in the series, both set in the same small coastal town of Cypress Hollow, with Eliza Carpenter watching over all of them.
Rachael Herron received her MFA in writing from Mills College, and has been knitting since she was five years old. It's more than a hobby; it's a way of life. Rachael lives with her better half in Oakland, California, where they have four cats, three dogs, three spinning wheels, and more instruments than they can count. She is a proud member of the San Francisco Area Romance Writers of America and she is struggling to learn the ukulele.
ETA: Rachael's interview with me is now live -- and there appears to be a buttonhole controversy brewing.