Writing Has no Limitsby Nelle Davy
Imagination has no boundaries – it is a vast landscape without maps or limitations. I know the old axiom is ‘write what you know’ but why should it be? Why should female writers confine themselves to the domestic and the minutiae of life, while their male counterparts explore fresh new terrain? I decided when I started writing that I would do only one thing and that was write the kind of book I would read and I would not limit myself. Of course it is difficult taking on the voice and culture of another country that is not your own but that is what a library and research is for. I spent a lot of time doing research about America and Iowa in particular (I read a lot of Bill Bryson who described what it was like to grow up in Iowa and I found his anecdotes – particularly his description of the state fair really invaluable). I was also lucky that I had an agent in America who could look over my first draft and say to me ‘an American would not say this or do this’ about small things that I would never have thought over. But these were small changes really, by that point I had already captured (or hope I have) the American voice. Mostly I found it really exciting to do something so challenging. I think that is the beauty of fiction, that you can escape – and I really did – to a different time and completely different place. The ironic thing is I have been to lots of places in America where I could have set the book (Pennsylvania for starters) but I chose a state I had never even seen. I guess I just like to be difficult.
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About the Book:
For generations, Aurelia was the crowning glory of more than three thousand acres of Iowa farmland and golden cornfields. The estate was a monument to matriarch Lavinia Hathaway's dream to elevate the family name - no matter what relative or stranger she had to destroy in the process. It was a desperation that wrought the downfall of the Hathaways - and the once prosperous farm.
Now the last inhabitant of the decaying old home has died - alone. None of the surviving members of the Hathaway family want anything to do with the farm, the land, or the memories.
Especially Meredith Pincetti. Now living in New York City, for seventeen years Lavinia's youngest grandchild has tried to forget everything about her family and her past. But with the receipt of a pleading letter, Meredith is again thrust into conflict with the legacy that destroyed her family's once-great name. Back at Aurelia, Meredith must confront the rise and fall of the Hathaway family... and her own part in their mottled history.