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The Weight of Blood
"Leaves the reader breathless and wanting more." - Amy Greene, author of...
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Created: 03/10/14

Replies: 7

Posted Mar. 10, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 495

Expert

Please post your questions for the author

Laura McHugh graciously answered questions posed by BookBrowse book clubbers. Answers below.

This topic is now closed for further questions. Thank you!


Posted Mar. 11, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
karnab

Join Date: 03/11/14

Posts: 4

Why did the town and Carl not stand up to Crete? Why create such a despicable character as Crete?

I felt that Carl would never completely turn against his brother. His judgment was clouded by the sense of loyalty he felt toward Crete, and he let himself be blind to some of his brother’s actions. I think that would have changed had Carl known what Crete had done to Lila. Carl stands up to Crete, in a sense, when he places Cheri’s body in the tree across from Dane’s General Store. He refuses to play along and hide Cheri’s body like Crete wants him to.

As for the townsfolk, they didn’t want to get involved. They were intimidated by Crete, and I don’t think anyone wanted to cross him, for fear of what he might do in return.

Why create such a despicable character? People like Crete (and worse) exist in the real world. And to do the things that his character does in this story, he has to be pretty despicable. Not every story needs a Crete, but this one did.


Posted Mar. 16, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 123

Expert

The Weight of Blood is your first published novel. Have you always been a writer? What made you decide to sit down & create this work?

I always wanted to be a writer, but I didn’t start writing this book until I lost my longtime job as a software developer. I decided that I would take the opportunity to finally write a novel. I knew I wanted to set my story in the Ozarks, where I had lived for several years, but I did not have a plot before I began. Lucy's character came to me first, and then the twin mysteries of her mother's disappearance and her friend's murder. I didn't know where Cheri had been for the year she was missing until I saw a news article about a crime in a small Missouri town where I had lived. That crime changed the course of the story, and from there, everything began to fall into place.


Posted Mar. 16, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 123

Expert

How do you balance your time between being a writer and being a mother? Has life changed dramatically for you now that the novel has been published?

My life hasn't changed much, except that now I have deadlines, and I'm busy with all the extra work that goes along with promoting a novel - travel, interviews, social media. While writing this book, I quickly learned that I can't get much work done with my children present. They are still young, and constantly in need of attention. I wrote The Weight of Blood late at night while the kids slept, and during the day when they were at preschool a couple mornings a week. I didn't sleep much, but it was worth it.


Posted Mar. 16, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 123

Expert

What does your family think about your writing career? Have they always been supportive, or were they skeptical, and what do they say now that it's clear your writing is very well-received?

I am one of eight kids, and I have two kids of my own. My family always thought I had a talent for writing, but we grew up poor, and none of us ever considered pursuing our creative interests full time. It was a huge leap of faith for me to write this book instead of going back to work, and I'm thankful that my husband encouraged me to do it. Now that the book is out, my family is very happy for me—my mother was especially excited to see me in Southern Living.


Posted Mar. 16, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
JuliaB

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 10

Do you have a routine to keep your writing on track, or is it more of a compulsion - something you're eager to do every day?

I try to write every day. If I go too long without writing, I do crave it, but now that I am working toward a deadline on my second book, writing is my job—and, as with any other job, I have to work whether I feel inspired or not. It's not always easy, but there's nothing else I'd rather do, and I feel lucky to have a job that I love. 6. Is there an author who inspires you? Someone whose writing you seek to emulate?


Posted Mar. 16, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
JuliaB

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 10

Is there an author who inspires you? Someone whose writing you seek to emulate?

I have a long list of favorite authors, but one who has really inspired me in terms of craft is Charles Frazier. He's a fantastic storyteller, and each sentence is beautifully crafted. I read his latest, Nightwoods, while revising The Weight of Blood, and it occurred to me that I either needed to try harder or give up writing altogether. I don't try to emulate his style, but I do pay attention to each sentence and try to make it better.


Posted Mar. 16, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
SarahD451

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 12

In The Weight of Blood, I'm curious about Crete 's feelings toward Lucy. Would he have hurt her, do you think, if Birdie hadn't intervened?

In my mind, he would not have hurt Lucy, though I purposely left it open to the reader's interpretation. I thought that his love for her was genuine, and it stemmed, at least in part, from his belief that Lucy might be his daughter. I think it's possible for people to commit evil acts against others and still feel love for their own families.


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