The Day the Falls Stood Still is absolutely one of my favorite books of the year so far. I was so enraptured in this story that I was sneaking away listening to it at every chance I got. It's a story of love, loss and faith that will have you bawling and one I would recommend to anyone. It's a definite must read. Before BCM was as big as it was now, I listened to The Day the Falls Stood Still on audio and did a small review of it on our old domain. Imagine my surprise when within hours I got a comment on the review from the author herself, Cathy Marie Buchanan, thanking ME for reading her book and helping to spread the word. I should have been thanking HER.
I was so touched by this that when we moved to blogger I had hoped that we would be lucky enough to interview her. Well, she said yes to the interview and here it is (I am aware that this interview is supremely long but I had a hard time cutting anything out of it. I just enjoyed it so much and wanted to share it all with you.):
BCM: The Day the Falls Stood Still was such a nice find for me. I found it through my library’s audiobooks and absolutely loved it. I think I had to stop it 5 or 6 times to cry.
CMB: It’s funny because she (the actor that narrates the book, Karen White) read the book through and loved it but then she called me after she finished recording and she said at the end she just couldn’t keep it together and she had to stop and start a whole bunch of times because she was just was a wreck.
BCM: I could feel that when I was listening to it. Obviously, the story was very moving itself but the fact that she sounded like she was going to cry – it was so heart wrenching. I was glad that I got to listen to it that way before reading it.
CMB: When I first heard the very first paragraph early on so I could put it on my website, it was such a shock because I’ve had this voice in my head as I wrote TDTFSS and then all of a sudden it was this different voice. It wasn’t my voice but there was some other voice that I had imagined. I think she did a lovely job with it but it was so jarring I guess to have been so close to something and to have imagined it one way and then have it be a different way.
BCM: How long did it take you to write TDTFSS?
CMB: It took about four years all told. I grew up in Niagara Falls, Ontario so I grew up with all the Niagara Falls lore and as I was researching it was really interesting to clear up a lot of the misconceptions that I had about things. I wrote the first draft in probably just over a year, maybe a year and a quarter. I then spent the next two and a half years rewriting it. I rewrote on my own and with a couple of writer friends that I trade manuscripts with and once I got an agent I did a full year of rewriting with her. And once the book was sold I was working with the editors at the publishing house.But yeah, I hope I never have to do that kind of rewriting again.
I once heard a writer say “you know you’re finished with your book when you just can’t bear it any longer” and I was there. After all that rewriting I was kind of like “ok, you know, let me close this and put it away. I’ve had enough of this book.”
A lot of what the rewriting process was the faith thread that runs throughout the book so Bess losing her faith and developing a new kind of faith. That was always there but I really brought it out through the rewriting process.
BCM: Was it emotionally as hard to write the deaths as it was to read them?
CMB: You know, when I was probably close to finishing the first draft my own, much loved father died and I think my own grief ridden struggle with what it is I believe really sort of found expression in Bess Heath, so I think a lot of that was my own. I once heard a writer say, that all writers should write about they’ve been through and absolutely I was very preoccupied with “Where is my father? Why was he ever here? Where is he now?” Those kinds of things. So yeah, it was definitely an emotional time for me.
I’ll tell you when I was writing the end of the book I was bawling my eyes out.
(Click HERE to read Part II for completed interview and giveaway.)