Q: How did you come up with the idea for your new novel, and for your character Effie?Visit Martha Freeman's website.
A: The real Effie was a woman who made wreaths and other things she cobbled together after she was widowed. She was a country girl in Pennsylvania, nothing much like the Effie in the book. The name fascinated me. Her daughter lived on a farm with goats in Central Pennsylvania, and my daughter volunteered on her farm.
All my books come from a hodgepodge…I did a reading at a fair in Central Pennsylvania. A little girl whispered in my ear that she wasn’t allowed to tell me her name. I came up with an idea that there were conservative religious people out there, very private.
I concocted a whole story about [this]. It was more interesting to invent the whole beard idea [that's in the book], less controversial than using a real religion or cult-esque idea.
It sometimes feels like whatever I ate for breakfast, or what I saw out the window [inspires my writing]. With the solar airplane, I was thinking of Howard Hughes, and...[read on]