Welcome to The Lake of Dreams

Last week the final draft of my new novel, The Lake of Dreams, was sent to production.  This means I’ve entered that hiatus between truly finishing a book and waiting for its publication.  As always, it’s hard to let go.  This novel has been at the center of my days for several years now–I was immersed in this story well before The Memory Keeper’s Daughter was published–its characters and concerns and thematic threads resonating in my mind all the time.  There were days when I spent a dozen hours at my desk, writing.  The last few months have been given over to editing, intense and thoughtful conversations that moved gradually from larger concerns to small ones, until finally we reached last week’s discussions about word choice in a few lines.

At the end of this month I’ll travel to Florida for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance trade show, where I’ll get to talk with people who love books, love stories, and where I’ll have a chance to talk about The Lake of Dreams for the first time.  People will ask how I came to write this novel, and I’ll try to remember.  Already, though, the creative genesis of this story–which, as with all stories, was mysterious and unpredictable–has started to fade.  I promised myself I would remember this time, but I don’t.  Except that I started with a blank screen, a scattering of images and ideas, a feeling.  I wrote the first words.  They may not even be a part of the finished book, but they led to others.  One scene suggested another, the characters spoke up and took on their own lives, and now, years later, the story has become a book, which sits on my desk with its beautiful cover, about to go out into the world.

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