#TuesdayTalk with Gail Anderson-Dargatz. Her novel, Race Against Time, is on shelves now!
Tell us a bit about your book.
My latest Rapid Reads book is called Race Against Time, a Claire Abbott mystery.
What was the catalyst for your story?
What if you had a vision that something terrible was about to happen? Could you stop it? What if no one believed you? This novel rose out of those questions.
If your book is illustrated, what was it like to see your story come alive visually?
The book plays with the concept of time. Is time fixed? Is there such a thing as fate? Or do we do we create our own futures? Claire sees more than one future in her visions and in the end writes her own. I’d like to see those different futures overlapping in some way. We see Claire jump from her present to her future and back again.
What are the challenges of writing for or within a series?
This is my third book in a series about Claire Abbott, a small town reporter who uses a sixth sense to sniff out crime. The biggest challenge is having this character grow through the series. Here, Claire goes from being a near outcaste in her community, to finding acceptance there. She proves herself, despite the odds.
In your opinion, what makes a compelling story?
Story is all about conflict. But that doesn’t mean each scene has to involve an argument or fight. Instead, characters need to be challenged at every turn. What does the character want? What is stopping them? What are they willing to do to reach their goal? A writer finds her story as she answers those questions.
Does your book have a niche or specialty market?
The Claire Abbott mysteries are written specifically for adults wanting to strengthen their literacy skills. So they are excellent books for ESL or literacy learners.
Do you gravitate toward a certain genre or type of writing?
I write both literary novels, and books for literacy learners. Expectations for literary novels are very different than for literacy learner novels. But in the end story is what matters, in either type of writing.
What types of conversations do you hope will come out of your book?
Claire comes to wonder if she really saved the day, or was the ultimate cause of the near disaster. She wonders, is our future already written? Or do we create our futures? I hope readers ask similar questions. If we could really see into the future, could we change things? I think these are questions we all ask ourselves at some point. How does the decision I make today, to go out on a date, or take a job, effect not only my own future, but those around me?
By the age of eighteen, Gail Anderson-Dargatz knew she wanted to write about women in rural settings. Today, Gail is a bestselling author. A Recipe for Bees and The Cure for Death by Lightning were finalists for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. She also teaches other authors how to write fiction. Gail lives in the Shuswap region of British Columbia, the landscape found in so much of her writing. For more information, visit gailanderson-dargatz.ca.