An Interview * Author, Kathleen Grissom

Grissom.studioTS. It took me awhile but, with a little perseverance, I finally caught Kathleen Grissom with a few free moments and she gave me the interview I have been nagging her for.  Grin!  Glory Over Everything, the sequel to The Kitchen House has just been released so this is perfect timing to visit Kathleen while she writes.

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing?

KG. I have a writing room above my garage, separate from the house. It is a wonderful space with lots of light, desks and bulletin boards galore.Writing.Grissom.Desktop pic There, along with pertinent reminders, I post pictures of my research that shed light on my work in progress.

Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

KG. For my first draft I always begin with a stack of fresh legal pads from Staples and a stash of Paper Mate mechanical pencils – my favorite. A glass of water is always at my side.

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?

KG. I once raised Cashmere goats. I meant to spin the cashmere, but I had no idea how difficult and time consuming that was to do. After we sold the farm, the goats went to live on another farm with my goat mentor, a woman who knew more about goats than anyone else I have ever known. But I still have some fiber stored away in bags.

Q. Do you have a set time each day to write or do you write only when you are feeling creative?

KG. I would not write a word if I waited for the creative spark to strike. My morning is usually spent completing my daily chores before I head up to my writing room around 1:00 pm. I work there until dinnertime, around 6:30 pm, and in the evening I often speak to a book club.Kathleen.Grissom.Signing%20GOE

Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?

KG. Park your fanny in a chair and start to write.

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters?

KG. My characters come to me. In The Kitchen House, Lavinia was the first to present herself, and the others came as thekitchen.House.Grissom story unfolded. In Glory Over Everything, Jamie blocked the research I was doing for another book and insisted that I tell his story first.

Q. What inspired your story/stories?

KG. With The Kitchen House it was a notation on a map that read Negro Hill. I can’t say why that notation became such an obsession, but it did. I just had to know what happened there. With Glory Glory.Everything.bookOver Everything, Jamie was always in my mind’s eye, standing in the background, as though waiting for me.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

KG. I do, but only in my first and second draft. By the third it starts to become work.

Q. Who or what is your “Muse” at the moment?

KG. Crow Mary, a Crow Native woman, has been waiting in the wings for six years. She has been very patient while waiting for me to tell her powerful story. Around 1870, Crow Mary was married to a white fur trader, Abe Farwell, and some of their story is documented. To my delight, I am uncovering more fascinating details of her life as I continue on with my research.

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

KG. About 18 years ago, when I began to write my first book, The Kitchen House.

Q. How long after that were you published?

KG. About ten years. It took me five to write the book and another five years to find an agent.

Q. What makes a writer great?KG. I think a great writer is someone who can transport the reader into another world. When I am lost in a story – when I can’t wait to get back to a book to find out what is happening to the characters – that, to me, is a great writer.

Q. …and the all important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like for you?

KG. Here goes.

No book.

Muse appears with clues, then research, research, research. Finally I begin writing, but still I research as needed while writing until I finish first draft. Then I do as many drafts as necessary until I feel it is good enough to submit. After submission I rewrite, resubmit, rewrite, resubmit – until publication.

Finished book.

Q. How has your life experiences influenced your writing/stories?

KG. The difficulties – the tragedies – in my life have allowed me to better understand the depth of pain in my characters. My joys have given the same.

Q. Have you or do you want to write in another genre`?

KG. No. I love historical fiction.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?

KG. Yes, I want each of them to know how grateful I am for their tremendous support of my work.
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Don’t Miss my Review of  Glory Over Everything  click here
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