As part of an author profile I put together at Smashwords, I answered
eight questions about my writing and reading habits. Here they are, for
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Probably "Ferdinand", by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson. It introduced me to character complexity!
What are your five favourite fiction books, and why?
In no particular order:
Who are your favorite authors?
Peter Carey, Alice Munro, Michael Crummey, Charlotte Brontë.
When did you first start writing?
As soon as I could hold a pencil, probably. I know there were quite a few stories with poor spelling and even worse illustrations that I read with great pride to my family and friends. I also wrote plays, and by wrote I mean "borrowed very heavily from Grimm's Fairy Tales."
What is your writing process?
Strong coffee, comfortable chair, clean work area, sad music, think, write, edit, repeat.
What's the story behind, Fathom Lines, your latest book?
Lise makes maps of places that used to exist and lives with a man she doesn’t love. Her mother, Vee, pines for the husband she lost so many years ago, and can’t stop thinking of the place she grew up and left behind on purpose.
As the book opens, Vee is a very soon-to-be-retired librarian, mother, and widow. She is smart and no-nonsense, but wasn’t always as reserved as she is now. She worries that her daughter is unhappy and unwilling to do anything about it. Lise works for the Preservation Society and wishes she didn’t. She lives with a guy that she isn’t sure she likes, much less loves. She worries that her mother is having trouble with her memory.
The story is about memories and family secrets, and how both keep us from truly knowing the ones we love best.
What are you working on next?
I’m working on a historical novel, based on the experiences of a real man, set in York, Ontario (what is now Toronto) at the turn of the nineteenth century. Murder is involved, and war, and love, of course. Royals, too.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The challenge of finding the best words to express what is often inexplicable.
Erin Bedford, writer.