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Author Discussion: Greer Macallister
'The Magician's Lie' author answered BOTM members' questions
Book of the Month, Greer Macallister
Over the past two days, 'The Magician's Lie' author Greer Macallister has been answering Book of the Month members' questions. Here are some of the highlights:
CRANDERSON13: I am posting with an understanding that Ms. Macallister will be responding to questions. As a whole, I did enjoy this novel. The narrative form was an interesting one, lying both in the present circumstances of the characters' immediate dilemmas and in Arden's life story. By what means did you craft this novel? Did you write this in the order that it reads, or did you write multiple chapters of Arden's story while later breaking them up with the interrogation chapters' Also, if you have time, what are your personal writing habits' Did you craft this on a strict schedule and how long did this take from conception to publication?
Thank you in advance!
GMACALLISTER: Great question! Because of the framework you mention, it was a particularly complicated process of writing and rewriting. I wrote the first draft in the order it came to me, but during the editing process I separated the Virgil/Arden scenes from the story Arden is telling, and edited them separately. Then I'd piece it back together. Repeated that process several times, making sure both stories were moving forward, and sharpening the flow of the book each time.
From the initial inspiration to publication, it took a little over six years. Publishing is not for the impatient! Though I did also have two babies during those six years so that slowed me down a bit. I'm not a writer who writes every single day, but if I'm actively drafting a book I definitely move the book forward in some way every day, whether writing, researching, doing plot work, etc. Momentum is important. Hope that answers your question!
AVIDREADER: I really like endings that leave me curious about what may happen next, and this one did exactly that. As Whoopi said, the characters are changed by the end and I wonder what their futures may bring. I love that you created hopeful possibilities for Virgil and Arden. Do you have any plans to continue their stories, or are you working on something else?
GMACALLISTER: Wonderful -- so glad you enjoyed it! Endings make such a huge impact on my enjoyment of a book as a reader, and it sounds like they do for you too.
I do wonder what happens to Virgil and Arden (among others) after we leave them on the last page; I'm definitely open to exploring that in the future. I'm also considering writing more about Adelaide Herrmann, whose exciting real life included far more than I was able to write about in The Magician's Lie.
But my current project, GIRL IN DISGUISE, is a novel about Kate Warne, the first female private detective in the US, hired by Allan Pinkerton in 1856. It should hit shelves in about a year. Like TML, it's the story of a woman ahead of her time who ruffles a lot of feathers -- I think you'll like it!