Jessica: In New Hampshire, feeling lucky and grateful
Today is launch day for my fifth novel, Whispers Beyond the Veil. Do you hear that world? Fifth novel! I can’t believe it’s true. The surprise and the joy never get old. It’s like magic really, the whole delightful business.
I feel like stopping people on the street and telling them how much I love my life! I want to chat with the old guys walking arthritic beagles, the bleary-eyed mothers waiting with rambunctious kids at school bus stops, the kid furiously texting as he saunters along the sidewalk.
I think one of the reasons it still feels so magical is that Whispers Beyond the Veil is a departure from the books I’ve written in the past. Live Free or Die and the Sugar Grove books are contemporary and light hearted and told entirely in the first person. The worlds of those books are safe until an unforeseen disaster strikes and throws things for a loop. The protagonists of those stories, Gwen and Dani, have lived lives of relative comfort, in communities that function like extended families. The towns of Winsow Falls and Sugar Grove are idyllic and entirely imaginary. At their hearts these books are about what it’s like to be an insider.
Whispers Beyond the Veil is historical fiction, set in 1898.The tone of the story is more serious. And it is told from the first person perspective of protagonist, Ruby Proulx, as well as the third person voice of police officer, Warren Yancey. Life for Ruby has been anything but comfortable or safe. Her family has been a small, fragile one; just her mountebank father and herself. Her first experience with feeling like a part of a stable community appears when she finds sanctuary with her aunt in the complex, real world town of Old Orchard, ME. Ruby relies on her perspective as an outsider to help insider Warren Yancey solve the crime.
Having the opportunity to tell stories in such different ways, with very different voices has kept things interesting and magical for me. I hope readers of Whispers Beyond the Veil will find it to be so too!
Readers, how do you find magic and joy in your daily life? Writers, do you like to play with different types of stories to keep the experience fresh and fun?