A few weeks ago, fans journeyed downtown to see authors Lori Lansens and Sara Gruen. I had the amazing opportunity to swing by a brief and intimate reception before their chat at the Toronto Reference Library, where I and other book lovers had a chance to mingle, chat with the authors and get our books signed. After devouring some of the delicious mountain of a mountain cake, many made their way over to the library for the public event.
Liza Fromer, host of Global’s The Morning Show introduced the two guests of honour at the start of the event. Sara Gruen, author of the best selling novel Water For Elephants, was there to promote her new novel At the Water’s Edge while The Wife’s Tale author Lori Lansens was to speak on her new release The Mountain Story. Both authors, both Canadians now living in the States, started the evening with a reading from their respective books before Liza chatted with them about their writing process and the books.
With The Mountain Story, Lori had wanted to step out of her comfort zone and write a suspenseful novel. She originally wanted it set in the Santa Monica mountains but didn’t think it would be believable that the characters would be lost for 5 days. When asked about their muse, Lori’s was “the on button on my computer”. She wrote every day when her kids were at school. While Sara doesn’t have a set schedule, and her process of writing the first draft is messy, she loves writing “the end!” once her first draft is complete.
When asked about what it’s like to write in solitude for so long, and then to be out in public to promote their finished works, Sara admitted she hadn’t stepped out of her front door for 6 weeks. She had nighttime PJs and daytime PJs. Both women feel like writing is an addiction. If it’s going poorly, they feel the need to go back and fix it. If it’s good, they can’t stop!
Fun fact! Sara’s kids had cameos in the Water For Elephants movie starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson.