Posts with the category ‘Uncategorized’


Solvi and her Camera

When I was creating the character Solvi Lange, the heroine of the secondary tale in Searching for Nora, I wanted her to be someone trying to capture history. As a young woman raised in a family that kept secrets, Solvi feels like time and memory are eroding away beneath her. Instead of burying the past, she wants to dig it up, examine the remains, trap the images so that they cannot fade. And so I gave her a camera. I have always been interested in people who create visuals things. I don’t have that gift, so I admire those who… 


National Novel Writing Month

When I’m out talking about my book Searching for Nora, the question I get the most is: how long did it take you to write this? People asking me are usually holding the printed version, a hefty, 400-pager. When I tell them it was a twelve-year effort, they shake their heads sympathetically. Wow. Twelve years, locked in my office, toiling away. The truth is, I spent some of that time on book-related projects other than writing – like finding a new agent and sending the book out to small publishers. I also spent time skiing and kayaking, traveling to China… 


Ten Traits of a Great Book Club Book

  Have you ever sat in book club and wondered why there’s little to say? Not every book is a great book club read. Here are the traits that I believe make books potent book club material: 1.  A strong lead character: Your hero/heroine needs to be after something; they need to be driven and dynamic, either solving problems, upsetting the social order, or leading the way. 2.  Give the lead character flaws: This is why Tolstoy wrote about unhappy families. People who are already leading exemplary lives are not very interesting (unless they give them up). Characters need to… 


Should I Read the Play First?

Because my novel Searching for Nora is a sequel to Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House, many people have asked me if they should read the play before they read my book. It’s a good question, and I always tell them “it depends.” It depends on whether they have seen the play or read it in the past. It depends on what they remember. It depends on how much time they have, and how much patience. In truth, readers don’t need to read A Doll’s House before reading Searching for Nora because I wove the play’s important plot points into… 


Who is Solvi Lange?

My new novel, Searching for Nora, braids together two tales. The primary story is set in Norway and Minnesota in the 1880’s, and traces what happens to Nora Helmer, the heroine of Henrik Ibsen’s iconic play A Doll’s House. The secondary story is set in Norway as well, but in 1919, and features a young university student named Solvi Lange. She’s a lonely girl with a rebellious spirit and a fierce yen for the truth. She sprang to life so I could view Nora through the prism of time and turn-of-the-century social change. Solvi and her friend Rikka are some… 


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