Karen Brichoux

Current and Upcoming Books

Available Now
"Draws the reader into the story and never lets go." --RT Bookclub
"Brichoux reminds the reader how powerfully the landscape of 'home' can define a person." -- High Country News
Previously Released
"An exceptional novel." --Melissa Senate, author of The Solomon Sisters Wise Up
"A coup. Warm, smart, and original." --Kirkus Reviews

Newsletter

Creative Impressions

May 24, 2005

June 2005 Newsletter from the desk of Karen Brichoux

Contents:

*News
*Article: “Creative Impressions”
*What I’m Reading

News:

*Congratulations to Alice, who won the May drawing for an Advance Reading Copy of THE GIRL SHE LEFT BEHIND. There is still one more drawing for the month of June. Good luck!

*If you would like to receive a snail-mail postcard reminder when I have a new release (this amounts to approximately one postcard a year), let me know by sending an e-mail with your mailing address to email@karenbrichoux.com Please put “mailing list” in the subject line to separate your e-mail from the oodles of spam being tossed about lately.

Article: “Creative Impressions”

I am often asked where I get my ideas for my books. I usually answer that I don’t know. That answer is only eighty or ninety-percent true. The other ten to twenty percent can be traced directly to my journal work.

When a writer says that she or he writes every day, it often means that they write in their journals. While journal entries often contain a lot of scary things about marketing, noisy neighbors, laundry, backed-up sewers, and the trivial details of life, they are also a place where an author can write freely. No editor or agent or reader is ever going to see a journal entry, so the author is free to write any amount of meaningless dialogue, description, or improbable first lines. I have entire scenes that swap between the voice of one character and three other characters; first lines that make no sense (“The leaves were orange that spring...”); descriptions of a trail of ants carrying away bagel crumbs; and even a room-by-room tour of a cottage in the English countryside. Not that I’ve ever been to an English countryside cottage, but I’ve seen pictures.

My journal is where I store my creative impressions. It’s filled with single dramatic sentences (“The drive to Tulsa was hot and the dog died on the way.”, snips of overheard conversation (“I don’t like precut watermelon in shrinkwrap. It’s slimey.”), and bits of meaningless dialogue (“Whenever I have blue cheese, I’ll think of you.” “I remind you of rotten milk?”).

Some of these creative impressions will stay in my journals forever. Some will become the basis for entire books. Some will find their way into my books, but in altered form.

A journal is where I write those creative impressions I’ll never throw away or edit. That freedom can provide a nibble of an idea that will end up being the basis for a book idea. Oddly, these kinds of impressions only happen when I’m writing. Who would have thought?

So now you know t he whole truth about my ideas!

Happy Summer!
--Karen

What I’m Reading:

THE LETTER OF MARQUE by Patrick O’Brian

DUNE by Frank Herbert

THE DOGS OF BABEL by Carolyn Parkhurst

PALADIN OF SOULS by Lois McMaster Bujold