I'm so glad you loved it. Of course, nothing in fiction is autobiographical—and everything is! Before my daughter was born, nothing ever rivaled my desire to write. But when she was small, the conflict was painful. When I was with her, I was often worried about deadlines, and the pressures of the publishing world. When I was writing, I often just wanted to be with her. But, with the help of my husband, I found my way, learned to work around her schedule, be present when she needed me, be present for the work during the scheduled time. I have always been a writer. And I love being a fully-engaged mother.
Those are two big, all-consuming, creative enterprises. So, even though the juggling act can be quite stressful, I feel blessed to have two things that I love so much.
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And my poor husband! I love him, too! I think there is external pressure—this idea that not only can we have it all, but, in fact, we MUST have it all. I know I put a lot of pressure on myself, as well, holding myself to impossible standards and then face-planting.
Women are making choices. Leaning in, maybe, or choosing to stay home, if they have that option. Finding balance, supporting each other, relying on spouses, if they're fortunate enough to have that kind of marriage. At ALA last year in New Orleans, I heard Michelle Obama speak and she said something that made a lot of sense to me: You can have it all, just maybe not at the same time. And I know you write with your sister, which must be twisty and complicated—at least some of the time! What fascinates you most about the dynamics between women? Female friendships have always been emphasized in my family.
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I remember my mother admonishing me to never lose touch with my girlfriends and stressing the importance of these close relationships. I think in some ways the intimacies we share with our close women friends can be at times even greater than those we share with our partners. Women have such an amazing capacity for supporting and empowering each other while at the same time, the ability to do the complete opposite when rivalry is at play. PARRISH we wanted to explore the ways in which the lack of a close female friendship could make someone vulnerable to a predatory female while at the same time turning the idea of the man being the prize on its head.
Daphne has a great void in her life—the loss of her sister who was her best friend. The relationship between Kate and her mother Lily is also one the book examines and how that foundational relationship influences the way Kate sees herself as a mother. My sister Valerie and I are extremely close even though fourteen years separate us. Fortunately, the most complicated aspect is just syncing our schedules. We joke that we might be turning into one person.
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Another aspect of relationships that it seems all of our writing encompasses is trauma. Despite Hank and Rain surviving, they are never able to recapture the closeness they once had, a source of heartbreak for both of them. What do you think it is that allows some survivors of a joint trauma to emerge more bonded than before while for others it essentially ruptures the relationship? Lisa Unger:. I value that closeness and support, that special way women have of tag-teaming problems, supporting each other through the rough patches, and celebrating successes.
When Tess and Lara later in the book, she calls herself Rain , are attacked by a violent, mentally ill man, Hank tries to save them. Rain escapes, but Hank and Tess do not. One of the many losses of that day, as you say, is their friendship. Extreme trauma is a crucible.
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And every person reacts to its pressures differently. It makes some people stronger; it tears other people apart. Hank and Lara have dissimilar experiences that dark day, and their responses are not the same. Lara seeks to forget. It's those different responses to trauma that sunder their friendship, rather than the trauma itself. And, yet, they remain bound by what happened—though not in a healthy way.
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My research into psychology, biology, trauma, and addiction is ongoing. Questions about the human psyche, and what makes us who we are is a bit of an obsession for me. What type of research do you do for your novels? Do you have any obsessions that you find yourself exploring again and again in your work? I feel the same way about how fascinating the human psychological makeup can be. My undergraduate degree is in Human Development and for a long time I thought I wanted to be a therapist. My favorite class in college was Abnormal Psychology, and I find myself continually drawn to research on personality disorders and the complex factors that contribute to the way we relate to others and how we react to situations.
So, now I spend my life creating problems for my characters! I am a bit obsessed with understanding sociopathic behavior and drawn to writing characters with varying degrees of sociopathy. I do a lot of reading on the subject and interview a good friend of mine who has a Ph. I find the more flawed the character, the more I enjoy writing him or her.
In your writing, do your characters drive the trajectory of the story and do they surprise you, or do you know from the beginning the path they will take and how the story will develop? All plot flows from character. Each story begins with a germ—it might be a news story, or a line of poetry, a photograph.
In one case, it was a piece of junk mail. This germ usually leads to some kind of an obsession with a topic, a swath of research. And, then the best way I can explain it is that if all of that connects with something deeper going on within me, I start to hear a voice or voices, and I follow those voices through the narrative. I write without an outline.
No country or its citizens deserve a future where key policies are decided by unaccountable arbitrators in a secret tribunal where neither democracy nor the environment appears to carry much—if any—weight. Bookmark the permalink. Originally published at Triple Crisis. And we can change trade and investment […]. Robin Broad and John Cavanagh On September 15, in a tribunal that few know exists, the fate of millions of people and hundreds of millions of dollars will be debated and decided in the next six months.
Triple Crisis welcomes your comments. Please share your thoughts below. Twitter Facebook Del. Survive Food Crisis - Do you need to read it? September 4, at pm. September 6, at am. Rigged Rules Bill Totten's Weblog says:. September 8, at am. Decrease Society An individual or group with potent magical power, such as A high priest, an archwizard, or even a magical monster, leads the community. The settlement is an armed garrison that exists solely to serve the military forces deployed there.
It may be a massive military base and training complex, a wilderness fortress or a keep that patrols a major trade route, depending on its size. The settlement may even be an ordinary town or city that recently fell under military rule after a coup or uprising that led to the declaration of martial law. Decrease Corruption -1, Society The settlement is ruled by its patron faith: secular and theological power are one and the same here.
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