Today I am opening the blogtour for Becoming Mrs Lewis by author Patti Henry
For my stop I have a Q&A with the author.
What prompted you to write this story?
At first I thought I was writing about the improbable love story of Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis but then I realized that I was actually writing about the beautiful and fiery transformational journey of an incredible poet and writer. Joy’s life and how she overcame hardship inspired me to tell her story from her point of view.
How much research did you do?
I spent years deep in the life of Joy Davidman, and to some extent therefore C. S. Lewis. I made a decision early on to tell this story from her point of view; from behind her eyes; from the key of empathy. I was tired of hearing about her and wanted to hear from her.
Is the extracts from the letters from the originals?
The letters are imagined. All of Joy and Jack’s letters to each other have either been lost or destroyed. Although I had to imagine the letters, they were inspired by real letters they both wrote to others during that time period.
The voice is very authentic, I feel like I have picked up her diary, how much is Joy and how much is you?
Oh, wow. This is the nicest compliment. I wanted to fully inhabit her voice and often I felt like I did. Nothing of my life is in this novel, but how to know how much of myself snuck in? I don’t know. I always say that the work isn’t about me, but it is from me.
How much of the book is artistic license?
The skeleton of the story is as solid true as history can tell us. The timeline, the books they wrote, the actual events, etc. What must be imagined are their emotions and conversations for the most part. The scenes as they are fleshed out also must be imagined. We can know they met for dinner, but the scene itself must unfold in the mind and heart.
There are a few historical events or happenings nodded to, did you do a lot of research for that?
Yes! I mapped out the times and years that the book took place and made sure that each day was historically accurate.
What was your favourite thing about writing the book?
Coming to know Joy was my very favorite part of writing this. She came alive for me in so many ways. I felt as if she had just been waiting to be dusted off and brought back to life in her story. I was honored to do so.
Did you worry about writing this particular story? From an authentic point of view, capturing what they had?
I was worried, yes. I still am sometimes. These are real people who lived real lives in the world. I worried very much, and still do, about being authentic and fair to them and to their families. I do know, though, that I did the best I knew how and honored them with all my heart and words.
How did this compare to the other books you have written?
It was only different in the research and in the attempt to stick to a definite timeline and solid facts. Otherwise the process of sitting down and understanding a character’s motivations and heart were the same.
What is next for Patti?
I have a summer novel coming out June 4th, 2019 titled The Favorite Daughter and I am working on a new historical novel set in Savannah, Georgia.
You can buy your copy NOW from Amazon HERE
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