Cecily Wolfe is here to talk to us about her debut novella, A Harvest of Stars. (Said title was released just earlier today!)
1. Tell us a little bit about your novella’s title.
A Harvest of Stars has something to do with a Shirley Jackson story, but that is for readers to discover.
2. Were there other titles which you were considering?
No, although while writing I referred to it as “Harvest” and “Hos” which morphed into “Hoss.” I usually have a working title for my novels and stories but this one was Harvest from inception.
3. Of the characters you’ve created, which one is your favorite?
Lucy Gaines. Lucy came to me during Easter Vigil Mass, which is where I get a lot of really awful (in a good way) story ideas, strangely, and frighteningly, enough. There are flashbacks in A Harvest of Stars that reveal Lucy’s childhood and events leading up to Locklyn’s conception, and one of these stories was what came to me that evening in church. I wrote it when I came home from church and submitted the short story without luck. Other stories about Lucy came to me and none of them were ever picked up by a literary journal or magazine, while other stories (non-Lucy ones) were published without trouble. When I started to write Harvest, I didn’t plan to have Lucy appear, but she did. Somehow she became Locklyn’s mother, and I had a difficult time dealing with the way her story turned. I was able to use the unpublished set of Lucy tales as flashbacks in the book, and finally understood that that was why they were never accepted for publication before – they were meant to be a part of this novella.
4. Using five words or less, describe the protagonist in A Harvest of Stars.
Sarcastic, tough, determined, confused, devoted
5. What does a typical writing session look like for you?
I don’t listen to music or watch anything while I write – I have conversations (in my head, sometimes not in my head) with characters as I work, and anything else is a distraction. I like to write fiction in the early morning, and any non-fiction projects in the evening. I do write a lot of professional and academic pieces under my real name, and I find that it helps clear my head for the fiction writing process. I daydream a lot, so I have a lot to bring to the keyboard when I write. I only like to write at home, not in coffee shops or other places that seem to be the ‘cool’ places to work. My home is my favorite place, and even if my children are hovering around, waiting for Mom to finish, I am able to work best there.
6. What are you currently reading?
The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater – I just finished The Raven Boys and have started in on The Dream Thieves. So many friends have told me to read this series, and I can see why. The fantasy, the magic, the characters – I am totally Team Adam for anyone who knows what that might mean, by the way.
7. Any project in the works?
A sequel to A Harvest of Stars, Starlight, and a contemporary re-telling of a more obscure Henry James novel, which is tentatively called Reckless Treasure.
8. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Just do it. Writers write, and that’s where you have to start.
And now for a game of “Which Do/Would You Prefer?”
1. Books or movies?
2. Dogs or cats?
3. Cake or ice-cream?
4. Car or motorcycle?
5. Ebook or physical book?
Physical book, the bigger the better
6. Nights out or nights in?
7. Being able to travel to the past or being able to travel to the future?
8. Travelling by car or travelling by airplane?
9. Staying in a hotel or going camping?
10. Reading or writing?
11. Finding yourself caught in the middle of a hurricane or finding yourself caught in the middle of a snowstorm? (Note: in both scenarios, you’d be outdoors and have no access to shelter.)
I’m from the Midwest, where we play in the snow no matter what our age
12. To never again eat a piece of chocolate or to never again drink a cup of coffee?
Oh, wow, I need my coffee
Thank you for joining us, Cecily!
Readers: want to connect with Cecily? You can find her on Goodreads and Pinterest. Also, be sure to check out her playlists on Spotify; they’re under the name Ceci Wolfe.