Last night I was fortunate enough to attend a literary event called "A Conversation with Kim Edwards" which was brought to town with the help of Friends of the UNCG Libraries and Bookmarks a nonprofit organization in our area. Mrs. Edwards is the author of "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" and "The Lake of Dreams".
Here are some points that stuck out to me.
- She doesn't have anyone read her work. When she finished her first novel she let two friends read it and then she sent it off to her agent (she had an agent because of a book of short stories she had published). I'm not sure how I feel about this. My critique group is what kick started me into writing my book to begin with, but then I'd say my critique group probably slowed me down because I was waiting too much for feedback.
- She wrote for years without publishing. She started with getting stories in magazines and was in her 40's when "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" was published. She said she was glad it happened that way because she was solid and secure in her writing by then so success didn't change her writing. I find this very encouraging.
- She seemed ordinary. She wasn't flashy or loud. While I like over the top personas as much as the next person, I felt comforted and encouraged in my craft by her quiet style.
Attending this encouraged me in the pursuit of writing. Her biggest piece of advice? Write the story you have within, love it, own it - then see what happens with it. I will.
Labels: A Conversation with Kim Edwards, Bookmarks, Kim Edwards, The Memory Keeper's Daughter, writing