In the Quilters' Book Club this month, we're reading State Fair by Earlene Fowler. I thought it would be fun to learn a bit about this author of quilt mysteries that feature Benni Harper. On Earlene's website, I found an interview that was taken from the Berkley Prime Crime website. Enjoy!
Why did you decide to use arts and crafts, specifically quilts, as a theme for your series?
By acting on the old saying to write what you know. I attempted to write literary short fiction for ten years before I wrote my first novel--FOOL'S PUZZLE. During that ten years I quit writing many times in discouragement. During those "off" times I did crafts--leather tooling, quilting, needlepoint, counted cross-stitch, basket weaving--so when I decided to write a mystery I wanted to write about things I knew about and also things I loved. I've always been drawn to the folk arts (what is sometimes called outsider art) rather than the fine arts probably because of my parent's rural and working class background. It's the art that regular people make after the real work of making a living is done. It was at a quilt show that I got the idea to name my book after a quilt because it suddenly occurred to me how evocative the pattern names were, how much they sounded like stories. I gave Benni a job I would have liked, being a curator at a museum that honored this type of art. Also, my maternal grandmother, the one from
What is the most difficult part of writing for you?
I know some authors who really hate starting books, but that has never been hard for me. I love the feeling, the possibilities that are there at the start of a story. For me, it's always been ending the story. Not because of the technical part of figuring out the plot, but the emotional part of letting the characters go and also letting the book itself go. The day I drive to Federal Express to send the manuscript to my editor is the hardest part of writing. Once the clerk takes
it from my hands, I feel utter desolation. It feels as if it is no longer entirely mine, and, truly, it isn't. But that's part of writing and publishing. I always wish I could keep the manuscript for a few months without someone reading it, savor the fact that I finished it and it's mine. Once it's gone, I start to let go a little. You have to if you want to survive emotionally. By the time my readers have it, it's gone through revisions, copy-editing and many readings so I'm not
We'll continue this interview tomorrow. Were you surprised at any of Earlene's answers, or were her answers ones you would have expected? Inquiring minds want to know! Answer in the comment section below. If you are reading via email, you must first click on the blog title to be able to comment and read the comments of others. By commenting, you are entering your name in a giveaway for a $20 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop! The more times you comment throughout the month, the greater your chances of winning! A big thank you to Fat Quarter Shop for this wonderful giveaway!
If you'd like to make the 10" Writer's Block quilt block pictured above, I found the pattern in Judy Martin's Ultimate Book of Quilt Block Patterns.
You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.
Monday, October 21, 2013
Earlene Fowler, Author of State Fair: a Benni Harper Mystery, Part I
Posted by Starwood Quilter at 6:02 PM