We're thrilled to have Kathy Parks stop by to tell us more about her latest novel, NOTES FROM MY CAPTIVITY.
The river accident with Adrienne and Dan was difficult just to try to capture the terror and the helplessness of it, moment by moment. The scene where Adrienne’s biological father counsels her on forgiveness is one of my favorite, and that was suggested by my editor.
What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?
It’s hard to quantify this particular book because it crosses genres, but I believe readers who love a good romance and a good adventure with high suspense would enjoy this novel.
How long did you work on NOTES FROM MY CAPTIVITY?
Notes from my Captivity had an abbreviated timeline: The research and writing of the initial draft was probably 3-4 months, then the rewrites went on for several months.
What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?
It left me with a deep appreciation for the beauty and the harsh punishments of Siberia.
What do you hope readers will take away from NOTES FROM MY CAPTIVITY?
I hope they will take away the fact that we often live in our own bubble of culture, with our own perspective. Then when our perspective is forced by travel or circumstance or accident, we emerge with a deeper understanding of other peoples and a kinder definition of the word “stranger.
How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?
The road to publication is as full of twists and turns as any international adventure! I have written somewhere around seventeen novels. Notes on My Captivity will be my eighth published novel. The rest are in a land where unsold novels live, perhaps to one day rise again.
Was there an AHA! moment along your road to publication where something suddenly sank in and you felt you had the key to writing a novel? What was it?
That AHA moment came months or a couple of years before, when I did research on the Lykov family in Siberia, a family I used as inspiration for the Osinovs. Anyone who wants to read a fascinating and true tale of survival in Siberia should look up the Lykovs!
What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?
The best time for me to write is the first thing in the morning. I feel a bit like a surfer and I need to ride that wave. I like listening to storm sounds or rushing water. I try to keep visual distractions to a minimum — decorations, photos, etc. My husband is at work and my cats hate me, which does allow for greater concentration. As for venue— sometimes at my house, sometimes at a coffee shop, sometimes in the driver’s seat of my car. I know, I’m a weirdo.
What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
My advice to other writers is to break down the act of writing a novel into small winnable portions and then keep track. As Stephen King advises, even if you write a mere page a day, in less than a year, you’ve got a full novel.
What are you working on now?
I’m actually writing a book about writing a novel, my attempt to demystify the process.
ABOUT THE BOOKNotes from My Captivity
by Kathy Parks
Katherine Tegen Books
Adrienne Cahill cares about three things: getting into a great college; becoming a revered journalist like her idol, Sydney Declay; and making her late father proud of her.
So when Adrienne is offered the chance to write an article that will get her into her dream school and debunk her foolish stepfather’s belief that a legendary family of hermits is living in the Siberian wilderness, there’s no question that she’s going to fly across the world.
But the Russian terrain is even less forgiving than Adrienne. And when disaster strikes, none of their extensive preparations seem to matter. Now Adrienne’s being held captive by the family she was convinced didn’t exist, and her best hope for escape is to act like she cares about them, even if it means wooing the youngest son.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Have you had a chance to read NOTES FROM MY CAPTIVITY yet? Do you need to ride the wave of writing? Do you break down the act of writing a novel into small winnable portions and then keep track of it? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!
Jocelyn, Halli, Martina, Erin, Susan, Shelly, Kelly, Laura, Emily, and Lori Ann