05-01-2012 09:57 AM
5-1 Q&A with Marie Bostwick
I am a long time fan of Marie Bostwick, the first novel of hers I read was her debut novel Fields of Gold, which you have to read if you haven’t, I could not put it down and then of course you have no other option but to read the sequel On the Wings of the Morning.
Debbie - So without further ado, welcome to the B&N General Fiction forum Marie, it’s so nice to have you visit and talk about your new release Ties that Bind, so tell us a bit about the new novel.
Marie - TIES THAT BIND is the fifth book in my Cobbled Court Quilt series. It brings back Margot Matthews, who works at Cobbled Court Quilts, and introduces a new character, Philippa Clarkson, who has been hired to fill in as interim pastor at the local church.
Do you have a set number in your Cobbled Court novels
No, I don’t have a specific number in mind. I like writing about these characters and New Bern, CT, the town where the books are set. Lucky for me, readers seem to like reading about them. As long as I continue to have good plot ideas and an eager audience, I’ll continue writing more Cobbled Court novels.
Tell us what brought you to Cobbled Court in the first place
Evelyn Dixon, the owner of Cobbled Court Quilts and the main character in several of the books, is really where the series began for me. However, Evelyn’s story was inspired by a real person, Deb Mella, who owned a quilt shop where I was a customer.
Just a few days before hosting a “Quilt Pink” event to raise money to fight breast cancer, Deb was herself diagnosed with the disease. At first, I didn’t think of it terms of a book, my only concern was to see her beat the cancer – all of her friends and customers felt the same. We all rallied around Deb. Once she’d successfully completed her treatment, the writer in me stepped forward and started to think about the cosmic irony of the circumstances and how it could make for a very readable plot that so many women could relate to.
But, what really intrigued me about the story, Deb’s real one and Evelyn’s fictional tale, was what it had to say about the importance of community and friendship. That’s where Cobbled Court really began and, five books in, it is still the major theme of the series.
Your Cobbled Court series revolves not only around a small community but also quilters
Are you a quilter
Have you always been a quilter
I haven’t always been a quilter – just almost always. I actually started sewing when I was about six or seven. My first projects were “halter tops”, really just rectangles of fabric with the edges sewing under and fabric tube ties sewn on at each corner. Later, I graduated to more complicated garment construction. I made a lot of my own clothes in junior high and high school and, when I became a mother, I made clothes for my children and draperies for our home.
About twenty-five years ago, I made my first quilted project, a really boring table runner with only two fabrics – cream and maroon. Back then, I was afraid of color but got over it pretty quickly. My favorite quilts have lots and lots of very strong colors.
Are you planning any stand a lone novels in the near future
Not at this time. I am working on what is to be the first book in a new series that will focus on Mary Dell Templeton, one of the characters we’ve seen occasionally in the Cobbled Court novels. Mary Dell, Evelyn’s old friend from Texas, is one of my favorite characters to write. However, I only get to do so now and again because, being a true blue Texan, she doesn’t leave the state that often. These new books are set in Mary Dell’s home town, Too Much, Texas, which also happens to be the name of the series. As you may have guessed, there’s a local legend which explains how the town got its name.
I’m having a lot of fun with this book and think readers will too. Mary Dell is a fascinating character. She’s a fabulous quilter but, by her own admission, has no more taste than a hothouse tomato. Fortunately, her son, Howard, who was born with Down Syndrome, has the color sense his mother lacks. Together, they are an unbeatable pair. Their story has really inspired me.
There is a great story in your bio on your website about how you accidentally became a writer, it’s a very inspirational story especially if there are any inspiring authors out there.
Would you share it with us Marie
In a way, I’ve always been a writer. I started scribbling stories at a very early age, really as soon as I learned to write. As a teenager, I wrote reams and reams of sad, self-absorbed poetry and won the English award in my high school. When I married and had children, I kept on writing little stories and essays for my own enjoyment but I never really considered writing as a profession.
Back in 1994, when my three boys were young and I really needed a break from momming fulltime, some girlfriends talked me into going on a little getaway. We went to a nice resort, very fancy, but there was a big emphasis on sports and athletics. Definitely not my strong suit. However, they were offering a writing workshop and I decided to go, mostly so I wouldn’t have to embarrass myself by playing tennis.
As it turned out, I really liked the workshop and did pretty well, reading a couple of my pieces aloud. At the end of the course, the instructor pulled me aside and asked what I’d published. Well, that cracked me up. I told him that I wasn’t a writer, just a mom and the only thing I wrote of importance was grocery lists. He argued with me, said that whether I knew or not, I was a writer. It was a nice compliment but I still wasn’t buying it. I told him as much and said again that he was wrong; I wasn’t a writer, just somebody who hadn’t fired her imaginary friends when she got big.
He leaned close to me, looked me in the eye and said, “Well, what do you think writers are?”
At that point, I realized he just might be onto something. I think I knew then that my secret identity had finally been unmasked.
Now tell us what would be your dream vacation
This is one of those questions that make me laugh because I spend WAY too much time thinking about dream vacations! I am constantly surfing travel and hotel websites. The answer changes based on my current whim but, at the moment, I’m all about taking a walking tour of the Cotswolds. I love that part of England. Of course, it would be nice to do the same thing in Ireland. Come to think of it; why not both?
I’m sure that fans would love to see you in person (like I did just a few short days ago) do you have any B&N events or signings on your book tour.
Yes! I’m going to be at the B&N in Amherst, New York on May 9th. Hope to see some of your readers there, Debbie. My launch event was at B&N, in Louisville, KY on April 24th.
I’m also going to be making stops and bookstores and quilt shops in other parts of New York, as well as Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and, of course, my homes state of Connecticut. To get more information, pop over to my website, www.mariebostwick.com, and check out my calendar under the Appearances tab.
Marie thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for me and good luck with the novel.
Thanks, Debbie! Good talking to you!
Marie Bostwick is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Cobbled Court Quilt novels. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she has since lived in eight U.S. states and two Mexican cities, collecting a vast, cherished array of friends and experiences along the way. Marie now lives with her husband and three handsome sons in Connecticut where she writes, reads, and quilts, traveling frequently to sign books, visit quilt shops, and meet her readers. For more information about Marie’s novels and quilting, please visit her website at www.mariebostwick.com.
Visit Marie on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mariebostwick
TIES THAT BIND, the fifth Cobbled Court Quilt novel, goes on sale April 24, 2012.
My review of Ties That Bind courtesy of RT Reviews
TIES THAT BIND
by Marie Bostwick
Genre: Mainstream, General Mainstream Fiction
RT Rating 4.5 Start Top Pick
Bostwick gives another stellar performance with her latest Cobbled Court novel. The beautiful prose in this multilayered faith- and community-based novel gives life to a small New England town filled with characters that readers will long remember. Although the series is best read in order, this novel stands well on its own.
Phillipa Clarkson has just received her first pulpit in New Bern, Conn., and though it’s only temporary, she’s determined to make the best of it — even though the congregation was expecting a man. She’s weathered worse than this town can dish out. Margot Matthews loves her life in New Bern, loves her job at Cobbled Court Quilts and loves her family no matter how dysfunctional they are, but there’s still one thing missing: a family of her own. In the face of a horrible tragedy Margot will learn just where she stands and who stands with, and against, her. When all is said and done she may just have her fondest wish after all, but at what cost?
I was very fortunate to meet Marie in person last Sunday at a signing event at a local fabric store here in St. Louis Jackman's fabrics.
Marie is such a warm and caring person, a wonderful speaker and listener as well
Here are some pictures from the event