Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sophie Littlefield

Sophie Littlefield's new novel is The Missing Place.

From her Q & A at My Bookish Ways:

Will you tell us more about The Missing Place and what inspired you to write it?

I was inspired by an article in People magazine several years back that depicted the harsh and lonely living conditions of oil rig workers in modern-day boom towns. I was fascinated that people were being drawn by the promise of high salaries from all over the country, that they were leaving behind families and spouses and the homes they’d lived in, sometimes for their whole lives, to take a gamble on a better life in the future. I wanted to see first-hand the trade-offs they had made and how they endured the isolation and hard physical labor. It seemed like a very human story of sacrifice and hope. I had a feeling that if I spent some time there, a story would come to me—and that is exactly what happened.

What kind of research did you do for the book?

In addition to reading all the articles and watching all the news items about the oil boom that I could find, I traveled to North Dakota in the dead of winter and slogged around town in the middle of a snowstorm to learn all I could about what it was like to live and work there. I got permission to stay in a “man camp,” the temporary housing provided by oil companies for their workers, and shared meals and conversation (and a bathroom!) with rig hands. I pored over maps and demographic statistics so that...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Sophie Littlefield's website and blog.

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--Marshal Zeringue