|Sailing Down the Moonbeam - Mary Gottschalk|
Q: Mary, how did you and your husband decide to go on your trip? Was there a triggering event or did the idea evolve over time?
- Trying to figure out what from my 400 pages of journals was relevant to a story of personal growth. For example, we spent six wonderful weeks in the Dominican Republic, but nothing happened there that influenced the way I changed or the way Tom and I thought about our trip. So it doesn’t appear in Moonbeam.
- Creating 3-dimensional characters on the page. While I was an accomplished business writer, I had little experience with the kinds of physical and emotional details that make for appealing and intriguing characters.
- Keeping the reader turning the pages. I knew that dialogue was key, but my journal did not include any, so I put words into people’s mouths, words that reflected both the emotional content of the scene and the way that individual tended to talk. But this can be dangerous territory in a memoir.
- As a first time author writing about sailing story from landlocked Iowa, I thought getting an agent and publisher would be almost impossible.
- I’d heard so many horror stories about losing control of your book … the cover, the editing, the price, and the timing. Having gone to the trouble of writing it, I didn’t want someone to make changes I didn’t agree with.
Q: From writing a memoir, you moved into writing fiction with your novel ‘A Fitting Place’. What attracted you to writing fiction?