I always think authors are haunted by something before they start writing a book. What was haunting you with The Woman Next Door?--Marshal Zeringue
Many things! I was around my grandmother just after my grandfather died and it got me thinking about what it is to be of that age, late 70s, 80s, to have so much of your life behind you. And then I began to dwell on that more. I wondered in particular what it might be like to be in the last years of a life that has largely been unfulfilling. The sense that the quality of the life you have lived will have some bearing on your experience of these final years. I wondered how late is too late - for friendship, for redemption.
I loved these two cranky old ladies feuding and then finding just enough of a chip of light to find something in common. Was there ever a moment in the book when you didn't think this would happen for them?
I didn't take it for granted that it would but I understood that part of the project of writing the book was to sit with this question on every page, to wonder it as I wrote their stories. I had to really balance this. I couldn't lie about what is possible for two such women but I also felt nervous about...[read on]