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March CSR Discussion Day: Running Far Afield by Libby Drew


Cia

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This month's CSR author was Libby Drew, an author who has been a Signature Author on GA for a very long time, sharing her work with readers here for our enjoyment. Did you like reading Running Far Afield? Share your thoughts below! But first... the interview!

Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?

I make the bed strictly so the dogs won’t get their muddy paws on my clean sheets. If I’m in a hurry, I just throw a blanket over the whole thing and call it good. 

If you were an animal, what would you be?

A house cat. I’ve come to believe that all domesticated felines understand some great mysterious truth that we humans aren’t privy to, and I desire this knowledge. 😁

What's your favorite room in your house? Do you plot or write there?

My living room. It has a wall of windows and tons of natural light. There’s also a huge squishy couch. I write there often, usually with my three Brittany spaniels in attendance. They’re good listeners. 

I plot everywhere. At all hours, in all environments. Mostly, by the time I sit down to write a scene (in my living room with my dogs), it’s been entirely fleshed out, down to what the characters are seeing, hearing, smelling, saying, and, especially, feeling. This conceptualization is imperative for me. If I don’t have an emotional grasp of the scene when it comes time to write it, my narrative comes across as flat and ineffectual. 

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? 

What do I like to do, or what do I do? I would love to enjoy the new Tana French novel and perfect my peach scone recipe. Usually, though, if I’m not writing for pleasure, I’m at work or writing for work. Because that’s what pays the bills.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment? 

An editor whom I greatly respect once told me, after reading my new manuscript, that it felt to her like I’d phoned it in. She wasn’t wrong. I had low enthusiasm for the project and never should have accepted it. I hated myself for letting her down. 

The best compliment is always, without a doubt, when a reader tells me they continue to think about a story and its characters long after they have finished reading. That’s extremely gratifying.

How many books/stories have you written? Which is your favorite?

This question required some research. I have written seventeen novels, nine novellas and twenty-three short stories—give or take. Other works have been lost to time and circumstance. My favorite is always the one I am currently working on. Rather like a new crush.  

Did the characters (Aaron/Chris) come to you first or the plot of Running Far Afield?

Chris and Aaron (names changed for privacy purposes) were real boys. They are now grown men. Their story is based on actual events. The home for youth depicted in Running Far Afield exists in my hometown, and I have done work there. I was so impressed by Chris and Aaron’s wherewithal, strength of feelings, and maturity that I wrote their story.  

You nailed the angst of new beginnings… did you ever move as a teenager?

No, actually. But I worked with many young people who dealt with that sort of upheaval. 

Do you have a favorite part or line in the story?

The part that makes me proudest is at the end when Aaron turns the tables on his father. “Success is all about negotiation” is a sword that cuts both ways. But my favorite part is probably when the boys are discussing the mythology of Danae. 

Can you share a little of your current or upcoming work with readers?

I’m working on the anthology story for GA, and I hope to have it ready by the due date.  It’s still in the outlining phase, so nothing to share at this time… but maybe later?

Thank you, Cia, for the opportunity to share my answers!

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