If you're a bookworm, or even an aspiring one, one of the greatest joys is having a comfy space to cuddle up with a book for hours undistracted. In a world of non-stop push notifications, diminishing boundaries between work and home, and your already-hectic schedule, squeezing in some quality time to read can be a real challenge. But designating a space in your home specifically for reading can help create that time for you, while also helping you to make better use of your interior space--whether it's a bay window begging for some TLC or an awkward corner of a room that you just don't know how to style.
Insights from authors take us beyond just a glimpse into the writing process, they shed light on the human condition, often in places we can only visit through the written word. We have carefully culled the cream of the crop to present the year's Top 10 Best Author Interviews (in no particular order.) You'll find plenty of food for thought.
Sandra Gulland on 17th-century French theater, and a moving people's protest against authority.
Five years ago I went to Paris to research the life of Mademoiselle Claude des Oeillets. It was going to be a challenge, I knew. Claude--or Claudette, as I think of her--was a two-bit-player-turned-lady's maid, and she had lived over 250 years ago. As it is, there is often little in the historical records about the serving classes.
So you're an author, and your book is out there in the world. You've sweated and agonized and copy edited and re-read; in short, you've done everything you could to make sure your book is the best thing you can write at that moment. You wait nervously for its release. Will it sell? Will people like it? And then the reviews start to appear. Maybe it's a positive review (yeah!); maybe it's negative (ouch!), but the reviewer takes the time to explain what it is they didn't like about the book in a clear and fair way (still ouch, but okay, I get it, no book is for everyone).
If you ever wondered about the power of a little encouragement, whether it really can make a difference, read on!
Writing a novel about Hildegard von Bingen, the 12th century visionary abbess and polymath, was a daunting process. I felt intimidated to be writing about such a religious figure. The last thing I wanted to do was churn out preachy inspirational fiction which would be both unconvincing and hypocritical coming from me, a lapsed Catholic who falls under the "spiritual but not religious" umbrella. How could I make Hildegard's story seem fresh and relevant to a modern secular audience?