Despite being on a whirlwind release tour, author Sharon Cameron was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about her newest novel, The Forgetting.
The first page, the first letter, absolutely sucked me in, instantly. Did you know from the get-go that it was going to be the start of everything, or did you have to rearrange in the editing process?
I’m so glad you liked it! And yes, that was pretty much the first page from the very first draft, with revisions and tweaks, of course. Since this was a story that would be so much about books, and what was written in those books, explaining the concept of the Forgetting from the perspective of a book seemed like a natural choice. And throughout the novel it was a really fun way to give readers another sneak peek into the character’s head.
What was your inspiration for The Forgetting?
One of my favorite things about being a writer is the research. I love finding hidden histories, people lost to time, places that have been forgotten. But in all these avenues of research, what has always struck me is just how much of history has been lost, all because it dropped away from someone’s memory. And that raised the question, what would happen if we lost it all? All our history? All of our memories? Would I be the same person without my experiences to shape me, or would I be someone else completely different? The answers to those questions became the idea for THE FORGETTING.
In the city of Canaan, everyone has their own, marketable skill, like glass-blowing. Did you do any fun/interesting research while writing The Forgetting?
I did! Particularly with the glass-blowing. I absolutely love watching the process. The glass is so beautiful, lit from within, and then air transforms it into something else, without ever being touched by a hand. It’s gorgeous magic. I also did hours of research on whether a key could be made of melted glass. Turns out it can. With the right glass. In the right conditions. Good thing I’m the author and can create the right conditions!
Who was your favorite character to write? Was there one that was hard to pin down, with their voice or the backstory?
My favorite characters to write in The Forgetting were probably Genivee and Gray. Genivee, because she was young and precocious and little bit snarky. Gray because he was full of hidden depths, and a little bit snarky. Evidently, I like snark! Nadia was definitely the hardest to write. I loved her as a character, but because her trauma made her avoid interacting with others, she was the hardest to show. She took several drafts to get right!
Coffee or tea?
Are you a “pantser' or a “plotter?”
Pantser! I plot and plot, then change it all up and pants it. Really, it’s the only way.
Sharon Cameron is the author of The Dark Unwinding series, Rook, and The Forgetting. She has had many "former lives" where she was a classical piano teacher, full-time mom, part-time genealogist, chair of a non-profit for a local theater group, and a coordinator of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Midsouth Conference. She is "obsessed with" Scotland, her Longbow, really big trees, BBC costume dramas, and "finding things that have been hidden, on purpose, or other wise." Read more about Sharon Cameron and her books here. The Forgetting is available in stores now!