Saturday, October 12, 2013


WHO? Laurel Saville

WHAT?  What do you enjoy doing other than writing in your spare time?

Much of my down time seems to indirectly become writing time, in that I am drawn to activities that give me contemplative space which invariably turns to thinking about whatever projects I am working on. Like many writers, I am drawn to gardening and walking; in my case, this means puttering in my perennial garden or taking long walks in the deep woods with my gimpy, half-blind border collie. Of course, I read a lot and widely because other people's books are the best writing teachers and idea generators. I love mountain biking and have also been known to sporadically dip into watercolors and figure drawing. A few months ago, I started taking voice lessons so I could stop being one of  those "I don't sing" people, and in support of my new hobby, my much-more-musically-inclined husband just bought me a guitar and "Guitar for Dummies" book.

WHEN?  When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I don't remember a time when I was not writing and wanting to write and wanting to be a writer, which, by the way, I think of as three different things. Writing = practice.  Wanting to write = aspiration to do better and more. Being a writer = career management. To be successful, artistically and practically, it seems you really have to do all three. 

WHERE?  Where do you write?

I recently moved from Upstate NY where I lived and worked in a 100-yr-old commercial building on a riverbank, to the Pacific NW where I live on a densely wooded, decidedly funky,12-mile-long island in the Puget Sound near Seattle. My office now is a compact space next to the garage, a short stroll up a covered walkway from my kitchen door. I have a double glass door that looks out over a brick patio, my fledgling perennial garden, a rough stone wall and a massive blackberry patch. I am entertained by the small birds attracted to a burbling bird bath I set up, and also by shooing my small orange cat away from the same entertainment.

WHY?  Why do you write?

When I was a young girl, books were a safe place to escape the chaos of my home life, an opportunity to explore other people's and my own imagination, and a profound way to develop empathy for the people and characters I read about. I suppose I write because I hope my work will do the same for others. But more simply, I write because I can't seem to help myself. Ideas, characters, stories just appear in my mind as I go about my business of life and I have to write them down. I see people and things out in the world, and my empathetic response is to imagine their stories or make up stories for them. I guess it's part of the way I make sense of what I see.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Brought to live with the George family as a child, all anyone knew about enigmatic Rachel was that she worked hard, making herself indispensable to the plantation. And she remained a mystery until the day she disappeared…even to her husband. Especially to her husband.

Henry was Rachel’s opposite—gregarious where she was quiet, fanciful where she was pragmatic. After years of marriage, Rachel left Henry and their oldest son without explanation and set off on a steamer for New York City with their other four children. Was her flight the ultimate act of betrayal or one of extraordinary courage? Eight characters connected by blood and circumstance reconstruct Rachel’s inexplicable vanishing act.

Weaving real family letters into this narrative of her own great-grandparents, Laurel Saville creates a historical novel of incredible depth and beauty

Purchase Henry and Rachel
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