When I picked up The Wife’s Tale by Lori Lansens at the library last week I didn’t expect it to be one of those books I couldn’t put down. In fact, towards the end I tried to slow down to savor every sentence. Lansens comes from a background in screenwriting and I have a feeling that is one reason why this book clicked for me. Another reason is the way she brings the character to life. When I finished the book, I felt like I wanted to send Mary Gooch an e-mail just to see how she’s doing and to tell her what an inspiration I think she’s been to any woman stuck in a rut.
In an interview with Elle magazine, Lansens describes what happened to her when she began telling Mary Gooch’s story.
ELLE: You describe yourself as a method writer. Can you tell us more about how the characters take over when you’re writing?
LL: I either embody the characters, or they embody me. I definitely feel that I grow another skin. I must say that during the first half of writing The Wife’s Tale I developed some very poor health. I was in the emergency room twice with heart palpitations and panic attacks. As one of my actor friends pointed out: your body doesn’t know that you’re making art. You think about struggle and challenge and you imagine yourself weighing 302 pounds and being restricted and in despair. Your body doesn’t know that that’s not the case. I found the journey with Mary very interesting. I know it’s not the same for all writers, but I have heard other writers describe the experience that way. read more here