Interview: Marie Bostwick

Sometimes I come across people that tell me they’d like to write, yet they can never find the time. I personally believe that if you’re a writer, you write. You make time. You turn off the phone or skip meals or stay up late. Writers do that because they can’t stand the thought of not doing it. Marie Bostwick is that type of writer. She was always writing something, even if it was just for herself. There’s a lesson in that.

Enjoy this interview.

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Tell us a bit about your latest book, A Thread of Truth. The book picks up where A Single Thread left off. What inspired you to continue this story?

When I came to the end of A SINGLE THREAD, I just didn’t want to stop! In my mind, I could see a score of new plots that could take place in New Bern and it seemed that the secondary characters were jumping up and down, waving their hands and shouting, “Pick me! Pick me! Tell my story next!” Still, I hadn’t started the book with the intention of turning it into a series so I wasn’t sure if I was on the right track. I actually penned a little note to readers, asking them to write and let me know if they wanted more from New Bern. Turns out they did; they wrote to me in droves! But, even before A SINGLE THREAD was published, my editor urged me to go on with the story. So I did, happily, and A THREAD OF TRUTH was the result.

In it, I brought back many of the characters from the first book but Ivy Peterman, a young woman who came to New Bern after fleeing an abusive spouse, is the star of the show. It wasn’t an easy book to write. Dealing with the subject of domestic violence definitely forced me out of my comfort zone, but at the end of the day A THREAD OF TRUTH is a story of hope and the transforming power of female relationships. I’m very pleased with the end result.

You describe yourself as a “late bloomer” when it comes to writing professionally. What types of writing did you do before making it your vocation?

It’s almost hard for me to remember a time when I didn’t write. When I was about five, I wrote my own “screenplay” to go with the music on my grandmother’s recording of “CAMELOT”. I’d heard the music but hadn’t seen the movie. When I was thirteen, my best friend, Julie, and I used to hang out in her parent’s basement and write romantic stories with handsome heros who drove neat cars and many, many wardrobe descriptions. (I believe we invented chick lit in that basement.) Later, I wrote a lot of sad, self-absorbed teenage poetry. When I married there was my Erma Bombeck phase – lots of pithy essays about my kids and why you can never find a tupperward lid that matches the tupperware bowl in your cupboard.

Bottom line is, I wrote. I wrote for my own enjoyment, to clear my head, to think, to kill time. Mostly I wrote because I couldn’t not write. If I’d never figured out that other people might actually want to read what I wrote, I’d probably still be writing for myself. It’s what I do.

Share some of your writing goals. What’s next for you?

My big goal is to live long enough to write all the stories I’ve got banging around in my brain. But, I don’t suppose there’s any hope of it.

What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?

Hmm. Let’s say interesting in the sense that it held my interest – the “unputdownable” book. Leon Uris’s Trinity. It was so absorbing that I remember standing at the stove, holding the book in one hand and stirring chili with the other.

Favorite authors?

The list is long and growing every day. However, I always go back to Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Anthony Trollope, Edith Wharton, and Betty Smith.

Book you’re currently reading?

Just finished Simple Courage by Frank Delaney, which I loved. Deep into VELVA JEAN LEARNS TO DRIVE by Jennifer Niven which is excellent, and just read the first chapter of Henry’s Sisters by Cathy Lamb. And wow! That was some first chapter! Am dying to get back to it. And will be reading Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls when I pick up my pre-ordered copy from the bookstore later today. Looking forward to that one.

Any type of writing ritual you have?

Yes, but it tends to change with every book because I’m a new person with every book. What worked last time may not this time. The main thing is that I write at least five or six days a week. And I make sure I spend some time out of doors every day. That never changes.

Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, how did you get past it? If not, why not?

Well, many other people have experienced it so it would be pretty smug of me to say it didn’t exist, but I don’t think it does for me. I’ve got so many ideas that if I never got another, I’d probably have enough to write about from now until I’m under the dirt.

Advice for other writers?

Take yourself seriously. Don’t try to reinvent yourself according to the whims and waves of the market; the market is too fickle to time anyway. Write often. Read more often. Include an SASE. Eschew personal drama. Don’t agree to a deadline unless you’re sure you can meet it and then do.

Where can we learn more about you?

www.mariebostwick.com

Anything else you’d like to add?

I’ve got a new novella, THE PRESENTS OF ANGELS, coming out in the holiday anthology, Snow Angels, on October 27th.

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