Saturday, April 5, 2014

Marie Bostwick Answers Your Questions


Do you love to quilt AND love to read?  I invite you to join the free, online Quilters' Book Club.  Each month, we read a book, discuss it through comments on my blog posts, and then make a quilt block to represent that book.  I research several potential blocks to go with the book's themes, setting, main characters, and events.  And I find the patterns free on the internet, making it easy for everyone to access.  Each member can choose the block or blocks they'd like to make.

To join, become a follower of my blog so you won't miss any blog post.  To make it super convenient, you can also sign up for my posts to be delivered right to you via email.    


Our book to read and discuss during April 2014 is A Thread of Truth by Marie Bostwick.  It's the second book of her Cobbled Court Quilts series.  Get the book from your local library or bookstore and join us!  It's also available on Kindle right here. 


We have a special opportunity!  Marie has kindly agreed to answer any questions you may have.  So this is your chance!  Are you wondering what a writer's life is like?  Where Marie gets her ideas for books?  Maybe you're curious about her newest book APART AT THE SEAMS, Book 6 of the Cobbled Court Quilts Series, coming out the end of this month.  Maybe you wonder about her life as a quilter.  Ask away!  This is a busy time in Marie' life, so we so appreciate the time she is taking to answer our questions.

What burning question do you have for Marie?  Inquiring minds want to know!  By commenting, you'll be entering this month's give-away of Marie Bostwick's newest book APART AT THE SEAMS, coming out the end of this month.  Three lucky people will each win a copy, courtesy of Kensington Publishing!  If you are reading this via email, you must click on the title of my blog post to be able to comment and read the comments of others.  The winner will be announced on May 1.

Looking ahead to the May Book Selection: These Is My Words: the Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine by Nancy Turner, Historical Fiction based on the life of the author's great-grandmother, set in Arizona Territory, 1881-1901
 

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post Lost and Found Quilt Block and Marie Bostwick's Biography.

 

27 comments:

  1. I read your May selection a year ago on the recommendation of Diane Williams, cross stitch designer for Little House Needleworks. It is an amazing story and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have read the first 4 of Marie's Cobbled Court books and enjoyed each one!

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    1. Glad to hear you're enjoying them, Linda.

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  2. In a Thread of Truth, your focus was domestic violence and the shelter in New Bern where Ivy can stay while trying to build a new life. What type of research did you do to explore this avenue?

    We have a domestic violence shelter in the small town where I live and my quilt guild donates quilts to wrap each woman & child that arrives in a warm hug.

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    1. Hi Tammy! Good question! This is one of those things you really can't research just by reading, you have to talk to people. When researching A THREAD OF TRUTH, I talked to the director of my local domestic violence shelter and other members of the staff there. They were very generous with their time and answered so many of my questions. I did a couple of interviews with former victims as well and I also watched some videos produced by the shelter that included interviews with their clients. SO great that your guild is making quilts for these families! I go a small private retreat with a core group of readers who have been with me for years and we always make pillowcases and some quilts to donate to the shelter in my town. I know they are so very appreciated.

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  3. Thanks for taking on tough topics in your books and making us think even while we enjoy the read!

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    1. Thank you, Karen! That was exactly what I hoped to accomplish with this book.

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  4. There's a saying, "You can't judge a book by its cover." How much thought goes into your covers, and do you have any say in their design?

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    1. An ENORMOUS amount of thought goes into the covers. They are hugely important. I do have some input into them and quite bit more than I did earlier in my career but the largest part of the concept and design in the responsibility of the publisher. And that makes sense because I am many things but not a visual artist. I am generally presented with two or three possibilities and can decide among them. However, if I feel very strongly that the cover is just way off base, then I can ask them to try again. That doesn't usually happen though. Generally, they do a great job on the first try.

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  5. Love your books! Are the characters in the books a conglomeration of people you know?

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    1. Hi! I almost never use actual people as models for characters. Once or twice this has occurred but most of the time my characters are completely fictional. That being said, in an aggregate sense I suppose all writers draw on the people they know when creating characters.

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  6. Marie, I would love to know when and where you do your writing. Do you write at home or do you have a special place away from home to escape distractions? Also, do you write nearly every day and for how long?

    I've not read any of your books but they look very interesting. I am impressed how you have cleverly incorporated sewing terms/phrases for your titles.

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    1. I have a very lovely studio in my home for writing and quilting (however we are remodeling right now, moving our kids into the upstairs, and so I am getting new studio soon, smaller but it will be very nice) and most of the time, that is where I write. However, I do sometimes take myself off to a hotel, retreat, or artist colony now and again, when I really want to get a lot done in a short time. I write nearly every day but try to rest on Sundays. The amount of time can vary depending on how close I am to my deadline. Usually, I set out to write a certain number of pages rather than putting in any particular amount of time.

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  7. I am posting this question for Barb Hodge - Just wondering how much time you spend a day working on quilts and is your quilt room/studio in your home? I am finding it hard to concentrate on just the quilting with my room being in my home. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

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    1. I have a combination writing/quilting studio in my home. Writing is my work and quilting is my hobby so I really only get to quilt as time allows. It's not an everyday occurrence for me. Sometimes I get a free evening to quilt but most of the time my quilting will happen in big chunks if I'm between books. Once I begin writing again, it may be weeks before I can sew. Barb, concentration and avoiding distraction is something I think everyone who works at home is challenged by. One thing that helps me is to turn off the phone when I work. Also, I don't have wi-fi in my office so when I'm writing then that is ALL that I'm doing, not surfing the internet. Also, when I sit down to write, I actually set a kitchen timer for a certain amount of time, then I don't allow myself to get until the timer goes off. I think you really just have to figure out what your particular distractions are and come up with strategies to combat them. It's an ongoing battle but, bottom line is, if you want to take your seriously you're just going to have to discipline yourself to put the work first.

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  8. When I read a series, the characters become friends, and I love reading about what is happening to them with each new book. What are the joys and difficulties of writing a series?

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    1. The joys are that you get to spend more time with characters you enjoy. But it really can be hard to keep things fresh four, five, six books in. That's part of why I so often bring in new characters. The other thing that is a challenge, if your series is successful, is that while readers may be saying they want it to go on and on, there really is a point at which it is time to bring it to a close. I've known for a while now how the series ends. The sixth Cobbled Court book, APART AT THE SEAMS, comes out on April 29th - it is not the last CC book but if there is a seventh CC book, I think that would be the last. However, I have no plans to write it immediately. I've got some other projects in process and in mind first.

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  9. I am still waiting for my book to arrive and I sure would love to win another one. Right now I am reading "The Yellow Rose of Christmas" in the book "Secret Santa". Like Susan, I was delighted that the story involved characters I had already met and grown to love. Do you keep a file on each character to be consistent or do you know them so well you don't need to?
    Thank you for your involvement in our group. An author who cares that much about the readers is very special indeed.

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    1. Hi Julie. Most authors who write a series do have what they call a "bible" which gives details on the characters so you can refer to them later. I have those as well but I've never had to refer to it yet - at least not for major characters. They are all pretty clear in my mind.

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  10. I don't have any questions, Marie, but I am enjoying reading your responses to everyone else's questions and am really looking forward to reading your books.

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  11. Marie, how do you decide who will be the lead character in each new book ? Who is featured in the upcoming Apart at the Seams? So many interesting friends in your Cobbled Court stories...thanks for sharing them with us !

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    1. It really is less a situation of me deciding who the lead will be than a character standing up and volunteering for the post. I've got a lot of voices in my head and, generally, the loudest one wins. In this case, the main character is Gayla Oliver. She is a New Yorker who has had a weekend place in New Bern for a while but doesn't seem to get out there much. However, when her marriage is in crisis she decides to spend the summer in New Bern. The secondary character is Ivy - who we've seen before. She came to New Bern as a young mom of 26, fleeing an abusive husband. Now she's 30, busy raising two kids, working, trying to go to college, and wondering starting to wonder if she's ever going to have the life she longs for and someone to share it with. Plenty to wrestle with right there, but when she learns that her ex-husband is about to be released from prison and wanted to be reconciled with the kids, life becomes even more complicated.

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  12. No questions, but, I loved the bio from Marie in the last post. Just too funny and probably too accurate.

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  13. I have just got the book. I don't give myself reading time, so this is making me have that time. I will be starting it this weekend. I am looking forward to reading it. Thank you for writing on such a touchy subject.

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  14. I just want to thank you for writing such interesting and yet women's issues focused books. I love your characters, extended families, and friends. One almost feels the comradery within :) Juggling writing, quilting, scrapbooking, grandkids, and social activities, which I do, I could learn something from your self discipline! LOL

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  15. I'm new to the group and too late to read your book (although I will try to catch up at a later date) but just wanted to say that I am super impressed that you have taken the time to answer the questions of readers on this site, thank you Marie Bostwick.

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I love hearing from readers. Your comments make my day!