An Evening with Kim Edwards
by Tif Sweeney
On the first day of December, I had the pleasure of spending the evening listening to the wisdom of Kim Edwards, the author of the bestseller, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter and her more recent release of The Lake of Dreams. She is currently touring for the paperback release of the latter novel, though she had plenty to share about the success of the former.
The great success of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter took Edwards pleasantly by surprise. However, this success made it difficult for her to move forward with her writing. As an author, she emphasizes the need to separate the promotional traveling from the creative process and she needed time to “make space for the next story.” Thankfully, she had started writing The Lake of Dreams prior to the publication of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, so she didn’t have to start from scratch. She simply needed to focus on the story, which meant turning off the Internet and removing all games from her hard drive!
In The Lake of Dreams, Edwards once again takes on the theme of family secrets. The book opens with Haley’s Comet, a spectacular event that created an international uproar in the early 1900s. Writing about such a historic event required quite a bit of research, something Edwards’ has not shied away from in this book, covering topics such as stained glass art to the women’s suffrage movement.
Edwards also infuses her own experiences into her work. Her time living in Japan set the stage for Lake of Dreams’ protagonist, Lucy Jarrett, and inspired her metaphorical “unsettled state of mind.”
After a brief reading, Edwards opened the floor to her personal favorite part of touring– the Q&A. Many inquiries centered around the process of writing as well as tips for the aspiring writer. Some of Edward’s best tips include:
- Write as much as you can and explore multiple genres and forms. Free writing can be a great exercise, though much may be discarded in the end.
- Assist your reader to invoke the same experience as the writer by including all sensory details: sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell.
- Make space to write every day. The morning may be the best time for you. Or, maybe you can escape for fifteen minutes during your lunch hour. Find a time that works for you and use it.
Does Edwards deliver with her second novel as she did with her first? Come back to Walrus later this week to read my review and find out!
For more information on Kim Edwards, you can visit her official website. If you are intrigued with stories filled with family secrets, be sure to check out local author, Susan McBride’s latest release, Little Black Dress. And, for those aspiring authors out there, you do not want to miss out the multitude of other writer’s tips right here.