Author Camille Marchetta is touring the blogosphere to promote the release of her latest book, The River, by Moonlight. She was kind enough to give me a few minutes of her time to talk about writing and publishing.
Welcome to Blogcritics! It's nice to have you here.
Thank you. I'm so pleased to have this opportunity to visit with you. It's an interesting site. I've been having a good time wandering around in it.
Why don't you start by telling us a bit about your book, and what inspired you to write such a story?
Friends on vacation wandered into an exhibition of paintings by a young woman artist who had died in mysterious circumstances. They were so impressed by the work that they mentioned it, and her, to me when they got home. I found the story haunting. I couldn't get it out of my head. Finally, I wrote The River, by Moonlight, my third novel, as a way of dealing with the issues raised for me. The book is set in New York City and the Hudson River Valley in 1917, just as the United States is on the verge of entering World War I. It's about the death of a young woman, Lily Canning, and the effect of it on her family and friends, all of whom are devastated by her loss and tormented by questions of how and why. But it's not a "true" story. The setting, the characters, the plot, everything is as I imagined it.
How would you describe your creative process while writing this novel? Was it stream-of-consciousness writing, or did you first write an outline? How long did it take you to write it?
No, I didn't work from an outline. I always find that too restricting. But I did a huge amount of research, and I took endless notes. Then I just sat and thought, really, until I found a way to tell the story, until I found its "voice." Once I had that, I was off. I would write page by page, letting things happen as they did. Frankly, the whole process is a mystery to me. But the writing isn't what I would call "stream-of-consciousness," which has, I think, a more fluid and interior quality than this work. It's been "polished" too much, I suppose, to seem spontaneous. I began actually writing the novel in 2000 and I did the last draft in July of 2007. I wasn't working on it constantly all that time, but I did do a good number of drafts.