Sunday, April 19, 2015

Holly Robinson

Novelist, journalist and celebrity ghost writer Holly Robinson is the author of several books, including The Gerbil farmer’s Daughter: A Memoir and the novels Beach Plum Island and Haven Lake. Her articles and essays appear frequently in The Huffington Post, More, Parents, Redbook and dozens of other newspapers and magazines. She and her husband have five children and a stubborn Pekingese. They divide their time between Massachusetts and Prince Edward Island, and are crazy enough to be fixing up old houses one shingle at a time in both places.

From Robinson's Q & A with Amy Sue Nathan:

Amy: Is Haven Lake a real place or just a real place in the novel? I know all your novels are set in the same area of Massachusetts where you live. For Haven Lake, how did you decide on/come up with this specific setting?

Holly: Haven Lake wasn’t a real place when I began the novel, but it feels very much like one now that I’ve created that world and lived in it. Setting plays a huge role in my books because I always feel that, by choosing the right setting, you can amplify the emotions in a novel. For instance, my first novel, The Wishing Hill, was set partly in Mexico and partly on the Massachusetts North Shore, because one of the characters in my novel is a painter who must travel between those two places as she tries to unravel the mystery of why the woman she thought is her mother is really someone else. I wanted the emotional shock she feels upon making that discovery to be painted in a very visual way on the page, by comparing the bright colors and heat of Mexico with the earthier, cooler tones of New England.

Likewise, Haven Lake has a dual setting: the Massachusetts North Shore and the Berkshires. Haven Lake is the name of the farm where two tragic deaths—a suicide and a mysterious drowning—occur that shatter the commune of people living there in the 1970s. Now, when one of the main characters, Sydney, has to return to Haven Lake, she is besieged by her childhood memories of this place. The dark pine woods, the stone walls, the pond, even the silhouette of the foothills around the farm all bring back memories, forcing Sydney to...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Holly Robinson's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Wishing Hill.

The Page 69 Test: Beach Plum Island.

Coffee with a Canine: Holly Robinson & Leo.

Writers Read: Holly Robinson.

--Marshal Zeringue