Q: What inspired you to write Main Street? A: My editor tempted me with the idea of writing about sewing, which is my favorite hobby. So I began to think about sewing, then sewing stores, then towns with sewing stores in them, and finally about small towns, which I love. I was also inspired by a British author whose books my mother used to love. The author is Dora Saint, and she wrote under the pen name Miss Read.
Q: Is Camden Falls like the town in which you live? A: Woodstock, New York, is definitely the inspiration for Camden Falls, just as Tinker Street in Woodstock is the inspiration for Main Street. The two towns are not exactly the same, but there are many similarities.
Q: Are any of the characters in Main Street based on people you know? A: Yes. Min is named for the mother of one of my friends. She really is called Min by her granddaughter because she so often says, “In a minute”. The Willets are based on my own parents and their experiences after my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Flora and Ruby are based on two sisters I know. The younger one is very much like Ruby. She loves to be onstage. The older one is quieter, more serious, and a bit introspective.
Q: Which character in Main Street do you relate to the most? A: Although I see bits of myself in many characters, I most relate to Flora.
Flora’s interests are mine, and so is her personality quiet, shy, introspective, and as desperate to avoid the spotlight as Ruby is to seek it.
Q: How is writing a series different from writing a stand-alone novel? A: Once I started creating the town of Camden Falls and the people in it, I realized there were lots of stories to tell. Although I love the challenge of creating new characters and new settings for stand-alone novels, I also like living with my characters for a while. That¹s one of the luxuries a series affords.
Q: What’s in store for Flora and Ruby in future books? A: I know what’s in store for them in the near future, but not much beyond that. I want their lives to unfold organically and spontaneously.