Bett Norris


Why I Write

I caught this link on Twitter this morning, and the remarkable story resonated so deeply that I had to break my cyber silence of the past few months to say something about why I write historical fiction.

I write about the past because I can’t figure out the present. I always joke by saying that I don’t understand how modern technology works, and that’s why I always set my books in an earlier time. It is true that I barely know how to operate my smart phone, and I use but do not understand computers.

My first two novels were fiction in their entirety, meaning that no part of anyone’s lived past were represented in them, the characters were all fictional.

My third book, which has sat, half-written and neglected, deals with my own family’s past. Maybe that is what has stumped me, sent me back time and again to old census records, old photographs, fading memories of stories my mother told me. I am looking for something.

50,000 words in, and I still am not ready to commit to the story. I don’t feel it yet in my gut, in my heart. When that happens, I suspect that the original hundred pages will get thrown out and a new draft will emerge, whole and sleek.

On Thursday, November 29, at 4:15 pm I will be on the radio with Merry Gangemi. and Woman-Stirred Radio, WGDR 91.1 fm and WGDR 91.1 fm live. We’ll be talking about What’s Best for Jane.  It will be fun, so listen in.

One response to “Why I Write

  1. Sally Bellerose November 27, 2012 at 5:28 am

    Can not wait to read your next book. Loved your first two. Will be listening on the 29th.


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