Will North credits writing with being his "meal ticket" out of a chaotic and sometimes frightening family in a steadily deteriorating neighborhood in Yonkers, just over the New York City border. It was his ticket to scholarships for an undergraduate degree in English, and then a graduate degree in journalism.
Writing carried North through a series of jobs and ultimately, at the age of 30, to an appointed position in the Carter administration. Much as he loved that job, one of the best things that ever happened to North was the election of Ronald Reagan, who promptly fired him and forced North to choose between holding a job and becoming an author. North chose the latter.
Over the years, and under a different name, for Will North is a pen name, he has written more than a dozen non fiction books. He became a ghostwriterfor an American President, a Vice-President, a famous mountaineer and explorer, a team of Everest climbers, a group of dinosaur-hunters, and a pioneering doctor, among others.
North also wrote a series of off-the-beaten-track guidebooks to the place he loves most in the world: Britain. He has since made extensive forays into fiction as well.
Will North's website
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Warning - this Q&A contains plot spoilers.....
Will North discusses his second novel, Water, Stone Heart
At the core of your novel, Water, Stone, Heart, is a deep and
difficult question: "Can a woman who has been sexually abused as a child ever
form a healthy and trusting intimate relationship with a man?" How does a man
come to write about such things?
The standard instruction to any would-be novelist is, "write what you know." I was once very much in love with a woman who had been abused as a child. I did not, at the time, fully comprehend the terrible weight anyone with that tragic history must bearpartly because she would not talk about it. The relationship did not survive. I dug into the subject and was stunned to learn that experts believe at least a quarter of all women in the U.S. have been sexually abused as children. Relationships are difficult enough to manage and maintain; loving someone who has been abused requires understanding both the pain, grief, fear, and anger the survivor carries and their long term effects on behavior. I guess I wish I knew then what I know now.
Your character, Nicola, seems to swing between "come hither" and &...
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