We are psyched to be participating in a “blog roll” of authors contributing insights on the creative process. We were invited by our friend and author of chick lit with a brain, Maria Murnane, whose most recent book, Cassidy Lane was just published. And in a 21st century twist, you can friend the heroine, Waverly Bryson, of her Perfect on Paper book series on Facebook here.
So…how, what, when, where and why does writing work for us?
We caught up with award-winning author Katherine Hill to discuss her debut novel, The Violet Hour, which has been getting raves everywhere from People Magazine to O, The Oprah Magazine to all over the blogosphere. The book is just out here in the US and will be published in the UK this winter. The Violet Hour is a multi-generational, intimate-yet-epic family saga that explores how we support and challenge, love and hurt, embrace and push away those around us, in romantic relationships and in our family. Check out our discussion with Katherine about Millennials, generational identity, gender in fiction writing, and how art can maybe save the world:
Dating & Hookup: The Violet Hour is an intimate family saga portraying three generations of the Fabricant family. That said, throughout the book we definitely come to know these people as distinct individuals. How do you see the influence and importance (or lack thereof) of generational identities? Do you think our generation shapes who we are…or vice versa…?
KH: All of us are born to specific times and places, and whatever our individual proclivities, the times and places we inhabit shape us considerably. We change with our cultures from decade to decade, year to year, and even often from minute to minute. I think we’re all aware of this to some extent, remembering our wild days when we ran with wild crowds, or finding we hate the suburbs because we’re always in our cars. And yet, day-to-day, we are mostly not aware of these larger, self-molding forces—especially in the contemporary United States. There is a powerful myth in this country that we shape our own destinies, a myth that explains a great deal about American attitudes towards work, love, family, and government. One of the most fascinating things about writing a multi-generational novel in this era was that I got to explore our culture’s changing values through characters who (like most of us) don’t always recognize the power their own assumptions have over their lives.
Last week, I went out on a first date with a man whom I was genuinely curious about. I’ve known him for five months, on a client basis, and that business relationship dynamic had only recently started to shift. He’s 32 and attractive. He books talent and plays in a band for a living.
The first “date” was over drinks at Pianos on the Lower East Side. The conversation was going well, and it seemed that we were enjoying each other’s company. At times I even thought about kissing him, which only happens about one in every four first dates I go on.
After two beers the conversation shifted to tattoos. He has a forearm band that represents a friend of his who has passed away and a guitar on his chest, plugged into his heart. So, naturally, I asked whether he had any other tattoos. It was about midnight at this point, so the date was coming to an end, when he confessed that his third tattoo was a dragon penis tattoo.
Yes, a man with a dragon penis tattoo!
I took my husband’s last name with riveting gusto and speed when we got married on Memorial Day this year. Within several hours of our small family wedding in New York City, I had updated all my social media profiles, created my new email, and generally transformed my old self into my new self. Rebecca Wiegand became Rebecca Coale.
Lightning quick as the transition seemed to all my friends and followers, the decision itself unfolded over several months and took a great deal of churning introspection on my part.
The assumption is that a woman takes her husband’s name because it is traditional. Because it is expected. Because it is the path of least resistance. And/Or because we are subjects of the patriarchy and in denial about “reality.”
But modern young women are underestimated. Nosy, prying people in our social circles and slapdash journalists in the media pick out slivers of our lives and deconstruct them with high-handed judgement or blow them up and out of proportion to make observational conclusions about “trends.” Show me the article that contemplates the full picture of our current lives, rather than some winnowed down (but supposedly representative!) aspect of who we are. Show me the feature that concludes, “You know what, young women are all different, and they are all confronting a variety of experiences, and yet they are being thoughtful and self-aware. They are making smart, meaningful decisions for themselves and they’re doing a good job.”
Prior to my wedding, I put real thought into what to do with my name. And I believe most women take such decisions seriously. We contemplate and balance the personal, emotional, political, and traditional. We forge a path for ourselves that is uniquely and purposefully our own. I don’t believe there is a “right” or “wrong” choice when it comes to changing your name with marriage. I believe it is a personal choice that belongs to each woman, each person.
In that spirit, here is why I decided to ditch Ms. Rebecca Wiegand become Mrs. Rebecca Coale.
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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