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Writing historical fiction: sometime journal of a New York City novelist

a snowy day in New York City

When I write, I go so deeply into the world of my imagination that sometimes I feel like a pale ghost in this one. You may picture me, a wisp of a woman floating with uncombed hair through the branches of our Christmas tree, making the hanging stars and angels stir slightly as I pass. Snow is falling outside. I need to close my writing file and remember that there are many things to be done in this world before Christmas! Read More 
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living with many research books

It is an overcast, cold day in New York City and I am wondering how I ever got so many research books. I write in many periods and sometimes these are for novels not yet finished. I gave a great many books away so I could see the ones I have which are more than sufficient and still it seems that they have grown to fill the space. I think books follow me home; they slip in when I open the door like a friendly cat and climb on a shelf before I turn around. There could be no other explanation for the number of them.

My new novel "Claude and Camille" was bought by Crown two months ago and many people ask me, "Well, you must be resting now." Not exactly...I manage to spend three or four whole days sometimes doing something in the house besides reading books or listening to music (perhaps chasing the dust balls which also slip in the door when I open it). I am working on two or three new novels, one a story I am finally pulling together after writing it on and off for a very long time. It is enormously exciting to me.

Meanwhile a cup of tea and a research book is calling me. Oh no...I just opened the door and three dust balls and four books rushed in and have settled on the shelves and under the chairs. There is no help for it... Read More 
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