Diane Hammond is the author of critically acclaimed novels including Going to Bend and Homesick Creek. A Bend resident, she is the recipient of an Oregon Arts Commission literary fellowship and served as a spokesperson for the Free Willy Keiko Foundation and the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
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A Conversation with Diane Hammond
Going to Bend is your first novel. Is there a story behind your
I think of the first half of this book as my graduate school thesis. I wrote it in 1994 and 1995, agonizing over its technical aspects and devices as well as its characters and story line. Craft issues have always loomed large for me. Are the character voices clear enough, consistent enough, revealing enough? How much of the story should I stage, and how much can I just allude to in internal monologues? Is it moving along smoothly? Experienced writers make hundreds of critical decisions by instinct, but most less-experienced writers dont have that luxury. It can be exhausting. In fact, by the exact midway point in the book, I was so worn out from the technical choices and decisions I was making that I was losing my way in the story. This, plus the fact that I had a young child, multiple sclerosis, and a demanding day job, convinced me to put the manuscript down. In fact, I didnt look at it again until 2001, when I was uninspired by whatever work was at hand and instead hauled out the manuscript. By then, thanks to my appallingly ...
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