Q: How do you keep the balance between that little world in your head and the real one?
A: What? You mean the one in my head isn’t real?
Once a story gets into my head and I start telling it, it’s as real as the life off the page most of the time. Exceptions: dental work, grandkids’ birthdays, and bill-paying. I don’t seem to have much of a problem going through the door into either world and I rarely have to slam the door behind me. In recent months, political anguish has, I admit, distracted me as never before, but when that happens, going back to tiny Reigny-sur-Canne, where the biggest problem is likely to be no fresh baguettes or a dead body, is a relief.
The big problem, the real one, is opening the door into the writing on a daily basis, giving the work the respect and complete attention it deserves. I’m nowhere near as disciplined as Minds’ own Catriona McPherson, who amazes me, or Rhys Bowen. They both manage to be writing, editing, and proofing multiple manuscripts while charming people in their award speeches and supporting other writers. They exist in another plane from me. My own efforts are spasmodic, only settling into daily routine when I have made space for that in my life. I’m no role model.
Last week, I had the best excuse, the West Coast launch of my latest book, the first in a new series, Love & Death in Burgundy. Coming down from that high, I’ll be back to balancing my time, dealing with copy edits and checks of my French expressions for the second book, and going back to Reigny in my head to see how the new story will take shape.