My first fact-based novel began one day when a voice started forming paragraphs in my head and I realized who was speaking: the juicy wife of an author on whom I had worked, a lot. I do not customarily hear voices—not at all—but the novelists I teach say that characters speak to them. I’d never believed it, exactly. Now it was happening to me.
I wrote my first novel in a dream, revising it over several years—adding a second narrator and then deleting her and following an agent’s and editor’s suggestions until the book, while still magical for me, had changed. My heroine lost a lover, or two, or even three; always strong, she smoothed some of her rough edges. In short, fiction prevailed over fact—as it should. I loved, loved, loved working on this book, for which I will use here not the actual title but one that will serve: WIVES AND LOVERS.
My second literary novel used third person rather than first and that scared me at first; I couldn’t depend on a voice speaking to me, almost speaking through me. But I found that I enjoyed the greater freedom third person allows and soon found that multiple voices emerged organically, sometimes via third person subjective. I’m still revising this book, but almost done, and will announce quite soon novel number two!
I’ve always loved history-based fiction, novels that fill in the blanks and make the past live. Now I have written two of my own. Hilary Mantel’s WOLF HALL and BRING UP THE BODIES got me thinking about publishing my work and then I learned that Hilary Mantel was not always Hilary Mantel: that she had done other things before these wonderful books, just as I have had a career writing what people call “acclaimed” non-fiction, like GONE PRIMITIVE. LOVING FRANK, THE PARIS WIFE, VANESSA AND HER SISTER reach, I believe, both the literati, and others. I hope people find my books fun, but also smart.
My regular blog-site switches to mariannatorgovnick.tumblr.com. I’ll blog there occasionally but find that social media keep us all fairly busy. I’m on Facebook as Marianna Torgovnick; on Twitter as Marianna_tor, with the Twitter feed appearing to the right. The site you’re viewing remains a place to learn more about me and my work.