ULM: When did you start planning your latest release, Love & Homegrown Magic?
PB: The central idea for this novel came to me in 2017, and together with a working title of “Daughters of the Bride,” they stewed in my head until the spring of 2019 when I began writing the first draft.
ULM: What was the emotional journey like, for you as the writer?
PB: Thank you for asking, Danielle! The creative process is always a grueling one for me—it involves a lot of sleepless nights and feverish daytime hours. Love & Homegrown Magic, as a philosophical fiction based on real events, was a process with an added layer of complexity; how to do justice to those experiences while portraying them responsibly?
As it often happens, the vision becomes clearer as the story unfolds. In the case of “Daughters of the Bride” the tale soon became an exercise in ancestral cleansing, and by the time the first draft was finished, the official, true title emerged as well, Love & Homegrown Magic.
ULM: Are you more like your character Maggie when it comes to planning?
PB: When it comes to planning, I admire Maggie’s ability, her focus, practicality, and optimism. The various characters in my novels always bear some of my own traits. Wherever I can, I try to mark the behavior of protagonists, antagonists, and secondary characters with a magnified version of one or other of my idiosyncrasies—It’s a great way for me to explore actions and their consequence while sort of walking a mile in my characters’ shoes. Writing Maggie’s character, with her pro planning skills, allowed me to acknowledge my own weak areas and decode her virtues for myself.
ULM: Where do you get your inspiration from?
PB: As with my previous titles, personal experiences and family play a huge role in my writing. The Faerie Legacy trilogy and Love & Homegrown Magic, while fictionalized, are at heart a portrayal of the relationships between women in the matriarchal clan I belong to.