As a result of my last post with a review of Darcie’s book, she contacted me via email to thank me for the review. Well I’m never one to turn down an opportunity to get a mini interview from an author so here goes!
SBR: How did you come up with the idea of this storyline?
The Mill River Recluse is the story of a woman with severe social anxiety disorder and agoraphobia who manages, despite a lifetime of physical isolation, to secretly change the lives of everyone who lives in her small Vermont town. The basic concept for the story was inspired by a certain gentleman named Sol Strauss who lived in Paoli, Indiana, the small town in which I lived during high school and in which my mother was born and raised. Mr. Strauss, a Jewish man who fled Nazi Germany, operated a dry goods store in Paoli in the 1940s. Even though Mr. Strauss lived quietly alone above his shop and never seemed to be fully embraced by the town’s predominantly Christian population, he considered Paoli to be his adopted community and is still remembered today for his extreme generosity.
I also hoped to show that someone who is misunderstood or different in some way, and even someone who is seemingly far-removed from his or her community, may in fact be more special and integral than anyone could imagine.
SBR: Do you have plans for more books, and are you working on anything right now?
Absolutely — I love to write, and I hope to be able to do so for the rest of my life. Currently, I am working on my second novel, which I hope to finish in about a year.
SBR: How long did it take you to write this book?
The Mill River Recluse took me about 2.5 years to write, and that was before I became a mom! I have a very demanding day job and now an equally demanding (but very adorable) 18-month-old son, so the time I have to write fiction is (unfortunately) very limited.
SBR: Who is your favorite character and why
I love most of my characters for various reasons, but my favorite is probably Father O’Brien, the elderly priest who is the only person who has contact with Mary for almost all of her life. He is good to the core and yet, like all of us, he has his flaws (which are more serious in his own mind than they actually appear to most people).
Thank you Darcie for contacting me and allowing me to ask a few questions!