I love learning from folks at readings, such as at BookWoman, a supportive and thriving feminist book in Austin, TX where I recently shared Grendel’s Mother: The Saga of the Wyrd-Wife. My old pal Laura asked if I had been inspired to write the novel after becoming a mother. After thinking about it a bit, I had to say, “Yes.”
I started writing the book in 1998, two years after my daughter, Sarah, was born. We would have a babysitter, Anna, come into the house and play with her while I wrote and worked. Well, by age 2 Sarah had become aware that I was still IN the house. So she toddled over with Anna into my study. “I won’t say anything,” little Sarah whispered. As I tried to write, I keep shooting glances over to my dear poppet. This wasn’t going to work.
That’s when I began my frequent travels to the library at St. Edward’s University, less than a mile from our home. I brought a laptop with me–a Mac that took dial-up. So I couldn’t google even if I wanted to. I simply typed.
Someone asked me how I got words for alliteration.Then I suddenly remembered my well-thumbed copy of Roget’s Thesaurus. No googling for synonyms for me!
Laura’s son, Sam Brancaccio, a brilliant heavy-metal guitarist, might compose music for a song from Grendel’s Mother. Vikings and heavy metal seem to go together. So I hope Sam will oblige. I can see Grendel’s Mother rocking out to his music.
As I left BookWoman, I found out that a number of women from the “Goddess Group” had bought the book. I love goddesses!
Just so you know, one scholar thinks Grendel’s Mother is based on an ancient Earth goddess figure. Enjoy!
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