This post originally appeared as part of Damselfly Inn’s AudioBookWorm tour.
I recently answered a few questions while promoting the release of Damselfly Inn’s audiobook, and thought I’d share it with you, since the tour is over.
How did you select your narrator?
Robin’s professionalism and range impressed me, and she nailed Nan’s voice in the interview.
How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
Robin has an extensive and insightful list of questions for her authors about the characters. Taking the time to answer them thoroughly really brought out the best in my characters when she performed the book.
Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
Lots! Thornton itself is modeled after an idealized version of Middlebury, Vermont, where I went to college. The Damselfly Inn is inspired by an old Victorian house in a meadow not far from Middlebury College. When I was a student, it was abandoned and quietly falling apart. I was fascinated by the house and wished I could rehab it and run it as a B&B. None of my characters are autobiographical or based on real people, but I trained as a chef after college, and my husband is a contractor and fine finish carpenter, so…
How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
I can’t imagine not being excited about writing. When I burn out, it’s the things around writing that get me down. Day jobs, chores, the never ending work of caring for my home… Writing? That’s a pleasure, and it’s fueled by life, by reading, by soaking in new experiences and cozying up to memories.
Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
I am learning to be. I’ve been an avid book readers since I could sound out words, but sometimes there just isn’t time to snuggle up with a book, and audiobooks are so wonderfully portable in a way that even eBooks aren’t.
If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles?
This was an easier question a decade ago when I started working on the book! Mandy Moore and Nathan Fillion were in my head for Nan and Joss. Kate is absolutely based on Lauren Graham’s portrayal of Lorelei Gilmore in Gilmore Girls. I think now, I’ll just have to trust the folks at Netflix (hello, Netflix, Thornton would make a great series…just saying!) to cast it.
What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
I’d say that’s nonsense. Before we wrote stories down, we told them to those who wanted to hear them. Listening to a compelling voice tell you a story still takes your imagination to new places, still expands your world, still comforts you like reading the words from a page.
In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
The pros are often the same as the cons, I think, and vice versa. Stand alones don’t require the same sense of overarching plot, or twining plot, that a series does, but that can be both pro and con. Sometimes, leaving breadcrumbs for future stories helps move the narrative along in ways a standalone can’t, but there’s no pressure in a stand alone to set up those future stories or establish things in the world of the book that have to endure past The End.
What’s your favorite:
Food: This is like asking me to pick a favorite child! (Actually, it’s harder, I only have one child!) Sushi and ice cream, probably…
Song: So. Many. Favorites. But here’s a sampling: Strange Currencies by REM, Buried Treasure by Grant Lee Phillips, Slow Show, by the National, June Hymn by the Decemberists, Debauchery by David Gray
Book: Again, I don’t know how people choose… I will always love Anne of the Island by LM Montgomery (the diamond sunbursts and marble halls proposal? swoon!), and I have a lingering adoration for Daphne DuMaurier’s Frenchman’s Creek. Katherine Neville’s The Eight captured my imagination when I was a teen and I still love to re-read it. Recently, Kate Clayborn’s Love Lettering, which does one of my favorite things so well: makes the reader fall in love with the place as well as the characters.
Television show: Ooh! An easy one. The West Wing. Currently airing: Better Call Saul. Runner Up: Schitt’s Creek.
Movie: The Princess Bride
Band: tough call. See the artists listed under favorite song…
Sports team: What are sports?
City: Florence, Italy.
Are any of those things referenced in appearance in your work?
I can’t cite specifically where, but I bet they are, hiding like Easter eggs. I don’t write autobiographically, but little bits of me shine through everywhere in my stories.