Shop Talk with Susan Signe Morrison about Grendel’s Mother (2 of 2)

Boundless thanks to Candace Robb who interviewed me about the writing process for Grendel’s Mother: The Saga of the Wyrd-Wife. She graciously shared her blog twice and asked really probing questions that made me reflect on how–and why– I wrote the novel the way I did. I hope you enjoy this interview!

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A Writer's Retreat

And now, without further ado, talking shop with Susan Signe Morrison, whose novel Grendel’s Mother: the Saga of the Wyrd-Wife is just out from Top Hat Books!

Q:  In Grendel’s Mother you use a spare style, no psychological explorations, no in depth descriptions of clothing, customs, explanations of the culture as one often finds in historical fiction. Is this style book-specific, to echo the language of Beowulf, or might you use it again?

A:  When I began writing the novel, I want to echo the language of Anglo-Saxon 9781785350092literature. In terms of word-stock, this meant using a lot of Germanic words. More key, I felt, was the style. How could I replicate– but also update for a contemporary, novel-reading audience–the feeling of Old English conventions? Almost unconsciously, I layered the texture of the writing with many appositions–noun and verbal phrases that function like synonyms. For example, rather…

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