Imagination has no boundaries – it is a vast landscape without maps or limitations. I know the old axiom is ‘write what you know’ but why should it be? Why should female writers confine themselves to the domestic and the minutiae of life, while their male counterparts explore fresh new terrain? I decided when I started writing that I would do only one thing and that was write the kind of book I would read and I would not limit myself. Of course it is difficult taking on the voice and culture of another country that is not your own but that is what a library and research is for. I spent a lot of time doing research about America and Iowa in particular (I read a lot of Bill Bryson who described what it was like to grow up in Iowa and I found his anecdotes – particularly his description of the state fair really invaluable). I was also lucky that I had an agent in America who could look over my first draft and say to me ‘an American would not say this or do this’ about small things that I would never have thought over. But these were small changes really, by that point I had already captured (or hope I have) the American voice. Mostly I found it really exciting to do something so challenging. I think that is the beauty of fiction, that you can escape – and I really did – to a different time and completely different place. The ironic thing is I have been to lots of places in America where I could have set the book (Pennsylvania for starters) but I chose a state I had never even seen. I guess I just like to be difficult.
Nelle Davy was born in Grenada in 1984 and was raised in London within an Anglo-Caribbean family. She studied English with creative writing at the University of Warwick and then undertook a master of philosophy degree in creative writing at Trinity College Dublin. She currently lives in London with her husband, where she works in publishing. THE LEGACY OF EDEN is her first novel and she is currently working on her second.
Thank you Ms. Davy for being a guest here today! I hope that everyone comes back tomorrow for my review and a giveaway of The Legacy of Eden. This book is currently on tour with a scavenger hunt - please check out this link to see all the blogs participating!
About the book: "To understand what it meant to be a Hathaway you'd first have to see Aurelia." For generations, a grand estate house was the crowning glory of over three thousand acres of Iowa farm land and golden corn fields. Named Aurelia, it was a monument to matriarch Lavinia Hathaway's dream to elevate the family name - no matter what relative or stranger she had to destroy in the process. It was a desperation that wrought the downfall of the Hathaways - and the once prosperous farm. Now the last inhabitant of the decaying old home has died - alone. None of the surviving members of the Hathaway dynasty want anything to do with the house, the land or the memories. Especially Meredith Pincetti. Now living in New York City, for seventeen years Lavinia's youngest grandchild has tried to forget everything about her family and her past. But with the receipt of a pleading letter, Meredith is again thrust into conflict with the legacy which destroyed her family's once-great name. Back at Aurelia, Meredith must confront the rise and fall of the Hathaway family...and her own part in their mottled history.