Q: You tell the story in The Girl in the Garden from a variety of perspectives. How did you decide which characters' points of view you wanted to show?--Marshal Zeringue
A: I’m not sure I can claim to have told a story from different perspectives, but I tried to use one narrative “voice” – a stylistically consistent one – to describe the different experiences of several main characters while giving each a singular way of speaking and his/her own take on the world.
As the novel took shape I realized I was concentrating on one character at a time, and so had to attempt to interweave very different lives and disparate experiences into a cohesive tale that allowed these characters to come together and interact – believably – with one another in one place.
Q: The novel is set in the 1970s. Why did you choose that time period?
A: In the 1970s, which I lived through as a young adult, it was still possible to encounter – and, in my main character’s case, survive because of – the kindness of strangers.
I also needed a timeframe in which two very different characters who had survived two very different wars – the Second World War, and Vietnam – could...[read on]