Another short post that actually points you to a longer post I wrote for Better World Books, a truly revolutionary online bookseller with an important mission. Several months ago, Better World Books featured my first novel on a list of books for readers who want to “travel around the world” via books.
I was surprised and excited to be named on a list that also featured Steinbeck and Fitzgerald! In this blog post at Better World Books, I meditate on why place is so important to my writing. Here’s an excerpt of the blog post:
Place, I think, is the reason why One for Sorrow might have been selected for the list. As a writer, I’m inspired by the places I’ve lived and those I visit for any length of time that allows me to sink my roots into the soil for a bit, to draw on the stories that surround and infuse any particular patch of earth. My second novel, for instance, The Love We Share Without Knowing, is set in Japan, where I lived for two years teaching English in rural elementary and middle schools. If I’d never lived in Japan for that long, I might never have written a story set there. Some writers can write about anywhere, but I don’t think they always capture the feeling or spirit of a place as a writer who has been somewhere in particular, or especially lived somewhere. They capture a setting, but not the place, and these are two different degrees of narrative, I think.