Scene of the Crime – Elizabeth Brundage
Elizabeth Brundage delivers our regular Scene of the Crime piece about where she wrote ALL THINGS CEASE TO APPEAR - out now in paperback!
Posted on March 2, 2017 in Behind the Scenes, Scene of the Crime
Tags: all things cease to appear, elizabeth brundage, thriller
Elizabeth Brundage takes us behind the scenes of where she wrote All Things Cease to Appear:
As Virginia Woolf said, a writer needs a room of her own.
This is a photo of my current office where some of All Things Cease to Appear was written. You will notice the bookshelf – this particular shelf is reserved for the books that have helped to teach and guide me as a writer, many of them classics. Books are a writer’s best, and essential, friend. I have many other books on other shelves but these are my favorites.
It’s important to surround myself with antiques. Antiques symbolize for me a few things. The fact that our history survives throughout time and that well made, well-crafted objects of beauty endure – an excellent reminder to me when I write that the work needs to be not only beautiful in its design, but also well constructed, and practical in that readers can open up all of the little drawers and compartments to find something meaningful inside, something to be treasured. This is the goal. To write something that readers might want to go back to to read again. To write work that will last. It’s important to me to have a quiet place to work. I live in the country and it’s very quiet. It’s good to work for a few hours in the silence and then step outside to listen to all of the things that are going on in nature, the birds, the wind, even the rain as it begins to fall.
I like to take long walks when I’m working to go over the story in my head, whatever scene I happen to be writing, the characters, and whatever they’re experiencing at the time. As a writer, you want to be open to life, to let it come to you just as the sun shines down on you or as the rain hits your bare arms before you run inside. Life comes to you and you write it down. That’s what writing is in its simplest terms.
I do a lot of research. I rely on a lot of books – art books, history, photography. When I was writing All Things Cease to Appear I had a bunch of photographs I cut out from various sources that informed the work, photographs of people who looked like my characters, the farm I imagined the Hales owned, the haunted house that Catherine and George unsuspectingly buy in foreclosure. When I am writing, I will pick up things that help me to better envision the world of the book. For example, I might buy postcards of paintings that give me a sense of the colors of the landscape or the textures I am trying to create. For this book I surrounded myself with George Inness paintings. I had a picture of an old Ford station wagon, Catherine’s car, as well as the sailboat Floyd DeBeers owns. When I sit down to work, glancing at these reminders help to take me where I need to go so that I can make the experience for the reader as authentic as possible.