So this was the big secret historians keep to themselves: historical research is wildly seductive and fun. There's a thrill in the process of digging, then piecing together details like a puzzle.
'Loving Frank' is about a forbidden love affair between two people who lived a hundred years ago - Frank Lloyd Wright and his married client, Mamah Borthwick Cheney. The affair set off a colossal newspaper scandal when the lovers ran off to Europe together.
I always use primary sources, in addition to reading biographies and other materials.
I'm married to Kevin, a photographer whose career has put him on the campaign trail with presidential candidates and sent him on assignment to far-flung places for long periods of time. It was sometimes rough when our children were small, and I was beginning to write in earnest.
One of the great lessons I learned about historical fiction from writing 'Loving Frank' is that you don't try to disguise what people did; my approach was to try to understand the characters and why they did what they did.
I guess I'm drawn to artists and literary people and want to learn about them.
If someone had told me in high school that one day I'd write an historical novel, I would have rolled my eyes.
History class was a forty-minute squirm from which I would emerge unscathed by insight. Down the hall in English Lit, though, there were stories to be had, and it was stories I craved.
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