The most common question I’m asked as a writer is “Where do you get your ideas?” The answer is: my life, my childhood, stories people tell me about their lives and childhoods (be careful what you reveal about yourself to a writer!), newspaper articles, observations I make while wandering through my day … as Nora Ephron liked to say, everything is copy.
But sometimes the idea for a book doesn’t come from a memory or a news story. Sometimes I write the book I want to read.
Now, I like to read all sorts of books, but sometimes what I really want to read is a book that’s about women and families and houses and friendship. Call it domestic fiction or women’s fiction or cozy fiction. What I’m looking for is a book that’s realistic, funny, well-written, with characters I like (even the unlikeable ones). A book I can sink into and enjoy, that engages me without making me work too hard as a reader. A book that’s best read in front of a fire or out on the screen porch.
And of course I like a book with a few good quilts in it.
If you look at the Quilter’s Bookshelf, you’ll find that there tons of quilt novels out there, more than you might have guessed. Personally, I’m a big fan of Marie Bostwick’s books and think more quilters should know about the marvelous Sandra Dallas. I think we’re all familiar with that lively group of quilters in Jennifer Chiaverini’s Elm Creek Quilters series.
Reading these writers made me want to write my own quilt story. I wanted to write about trying to find community when you’re middle-aged and new to town (it’s hard!), about balancing out motherhood and the creative life, and I wanted to write about quilts. When I wrote Birds in the Air, I had an audience of quilters in mind, readers who know what a half-square triangle is and who understand the joy of Show & Tell. While I hope all sorts of people can enjoy Birds in the Air, my dream audience is made up of quilters who love quilts and love making quilts as much as I do.
I wrote the book I wanted to read, and I hope you’ll want to read it, too.
The purpose of this blog is to tell you about what I’m reading and what’s inspiring me, and to share some true quilt stories, too. While you’re here, I hope you’ll sign up for my bi-weekly newsletter for more updates from my writing and quilting life (and maybe a recipe or two!).
Thanks for stopping by. More soon!