Welcome back to The Same Six Questions! I hope you didn't drink too much green beer or eat too much corned beef and cabbage this past weekend. Say hello to today's guest, Sadie Forsythe!
Thanks Andy! I’m the classic American abroad, totally enamored with life on ‘the continent.’ My family and I currently live on the cusp of the Pennines in NW England (think Wuthering Heights), but Tennessee will always call to me. When it comes right own to it I’m a Southern gal at heart. I spent more years than I care to count in university, and seven tough, but enlightening, years working with abused children. I think I learned more from them than any of my lauded professors.
The Same Six Questions
1. Have you published a book yet?
I have, and I’m pretty excited about it. The Weeping Empress is my first novel. It’s about the difficult personal sacrifices people have to make to ensure the continued growth of the humanity as a whole. But not everyone is so thrilled about the idea, not least of which the main character, Chiyo, who is asked to give up more than most. I have a real appreciation for the Japanese idea of Bushido, the idea of tempering violence with wisdom and civility, and this comes through in my writing. The world my characters inhabit is not a peaceful one, but Chiyo’s two companions negotiate it with a certain enviable grace born of a lifetime of disciplined familiarity. Together the three of them test the bounds of friendship, and the resolute nature of fate. It’s available at Amazon and such.
2. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Since I was a tween, twelve maybe. I can almost remember the exact moment. My best friend had just introduced me to Anne McCaffrey’s books, and I was burning through the Pern series at light speed. We all know the feeling; bated breath, racing heart, trembling fingers fidgeting with the edge of the page impatient to turn it and see what happens next. I fell in love with that experience, and thought ‘I want to make others feel like this.’ There would be no better praise I could receive as a writer than to know that one of my stories prompted such a physiological response in a reader.
3. What was your first lengthy piece of fiction (say, >1000 words)? What was it about? When did you write it? Do you still have it?
I’ve spent a lot of time in university, which meant no time to write fiction. I told a lot of stories that never made it to paper. A notable exception was in my youth. While stuck in the backseat on a cross-country road-trip I wrote 90 or so pages of a story about a concubine who became a warrior. I don’t remember much about it. I think the only reason I remember it at all is because of the embarrassment I endured reading a story about a concubine aloud to my parents in the front seat. The birds and the bees had yet to be broached, and the last thing I wanted was to be asked to further discuss the nocturnal responsibilities of my character. I don’t have it anymore, which is a shame. It’s the kind of character I adore, and I’d like to try and make something of it.
4. When was your first indication, "I can do this (write)"?
It was with The Weeping Empress, but my order was a little bit off. I never sat down and thought ‘I am going to write a book and this is my plot.’ I like to tell myself stories, especially during rote, boring moments like exercise or the shower. This one just kept coming back up. I kept expanding on it and developing characters until I couldn’t keep track of the names and locations in my head anymore, so I started jotting them down (hard to do in the shower). Eventually I looked at my poor bedraggled moleskine, and realized this wasn’t a story anymore, it was a book. It was then that I thought ‘I can do this. I can keep this up and finish it.’ But that decision came with a responsibility too. At that moment I gave The Weeping Empress life, and became accountable to her. After that it became work, a labor of love to be sure, but a task that had to be finished.
5. If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be?
I think it would be Valdis from The Weeping Empress. This might seem like an odd choice since she isn’t a main character, but she’s made a painful decision that the whole story hinges on. She knows it won’t be understood even though it affects everyone dear to her, and she makes it based on nothing more than her unshakable faith. She’s strong in a quite, overlookable fashion. I’d like to know how it feels to believe in something like that; to have a faith that you don’t question—not because you fear the answers or are too naïve to seek validation, but because you don’t need them. There must be a real comfort in that, and I’d love to delve into it. I’d also like to opportunity to congratulate her on the courage it takes to make such tough decisions. Sometimes even if you make the wrong choice, just choosing makes you the bravest person in the room.
6. It's a dark and stormy night...you're alone in the house...there's a knock at the door...you open it, look out, and proceed to scream like a little girl. What's on the doorstep?
A real-life, full-fledged, diamond encrusted, pink to the max Disney princess. When that fairy godmother gives Ella back her cinders I may invite her into my home. Until then I think the princessification of a generation of little girls is the most frightening thing I have ever seen.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing with us, Sadie! Find Sadie on the web at Facebook, her
Web site, and Twitter.