Q&A With Polly Stewart
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Q&A With Polly Stewart
Today I have the honor of doing a Q&A with author Polly Stewart. Polly Stewart’s debut novel, The Good Ones, comes out this year on June 6th, so preorder the novel now if you want to get a copy.
Q: Can you tell myself and the readers of my blog a little bit about what your novel The Good Ones is about? It sounds like a mystery and I always like those.
A: THE GOOD ONES is a mystery, though I didn’t know that when I started working on it! It’s about a woman named Nicola Bennett, who returns to her small hometown in Virginia fifteen years after the disappearance of her friend Lauren Ballard. Nicola’s mother has recently died, and she takes a job as a substitute at her old high school while she tries to sell her house. She also gets involved with Lauren’s husband, whom she’s known since high school. When I started the book, I really wanted to write about complicated relationships in a small town, but the longer I went on with it, the more interested I became in the mystery of Lauren’s disappearance. I hope the reader has a similar experience.
Q: Where did you get the idea to write The Good Ones? Is it fair to say that the characters in the novel are based off of anyone you know? I love it when authors can create fictional worlds and people from real life people and places.
A: The people aren’t real, but the place definitely is. I grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, and when I started THE GOOD ONES, I’d just moved back to the area after living in California and Missouri. This is absolutely my favorite place in the world—I love the views and the light and the weather—but I also sometimes miss the pace of city life. My main character Nicola and I aren’t much alike, but I found a way of working out my own complicated feelings about small-town life through her.
In regard to the people, I will say that all the good parts of Nicola’s boyfriend Warren were inspired by my husband, but none of the bad parts.
Q: When in your life did you realize that being an author was your calling in life?
A: I remember telling people I wanted to be a writer starting around age seven. My mom was a big reader, and it was my favorite thing to do as a child, to the extent that a lot of parents probably would have told me to put down my book and go outside. She never did, and I think that experience of being able to immerse myself in books was great training. From a really young age, I felt that I wanted to be able to do what the writers I loved did so well, and create a world for other people to get lost in.
Q: Who would be your dream cast if they decided to make The Good Ones, into a series or a movie?
A: My visions of casting are always fairly unrealistic, unfortunately. I’d like Jennifer Lawrence to be Nicola, but Warren has to be played by Kyle Chandler in his Friday Night Lights era, and I want Lauren to be played by Julianne Moore from the nineties. Just one of the reasons why a casting director would probably never consult me!
Q: If you’re writing your second novel now, is it another standalone novel or is it a sequel to The Good Ones?
A: My novel in progress is a standalone, but it’s set in the same area as THE GOOD ONES and has a lot of the same themes.
Q: If you were to collaborate with another author, who would it be with and why?
A: I am actually working on a different novel with a friend. I never thought I could write with anyone, but it’s turned out to be ridiculously fun. All writers are better at some things than others, and it’s great to work with someone who compliments your strengths.