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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Peggy Rothschild

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? As a reader, each book invites me to a new place–giving me the chance to see things in a fresh way and explore communities and cultures I’ve not had the chance to physically visit. As a mystery writer, I love exploring people’s motivations and creating a world where good can triumph. The written word can also be enjoyed alone–or shared with friends. Books can connect us and inspire us. And with public libraries, people can afford to read a wide array of wonderful works. (I currently have a small stack of books out from my local library.) As a lifelong reader, I always have at least one book going and love the adventures reading has taken me on.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? I always start working on a new manuscript before finishing my current one. That way, facing the dreaded blank page isn’t such a big deal. Doing this gives me a sort of emotional cushion that keeps me from stressing out and lets the words continue to flow. This is not to say I don’t have days where I’m stuck, but I don’t think of those as writer’s block–I see them more as “plot blocks.” Those come along when I’ve written myself into a corner and need to figure a way out. When that happens, I try puzzling, pushing various plot threads in my mind to see what might work–and abandoning most of them. There are many nights of interrupted sleep, but eventually the idea comes.

What is your favorite time to write? In the late morning. It’s quiet and there are few interruptions. Then, if time allows, I can add words and edit during the afternoon or evening.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? It’s been said by many authors in many ways, but basically: allow the first draft to be bad. Without that advice, I think I’d still be polishing the first six chapters of the first manuscript I ever wrote.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? During the time of Covid, the ability to meet people virtually, have book readings, and attend writing seminars is amazing. I know many of us are experiencing Zoom fatigue, and–after last week–I’m don’t think I’ll do more than one Zoom in a day. But the fact that authors can continue to connect with other writers and readers is key.

Peggy Rothschild’s A Deadly Bone to Pick is out February 22 with Berkley.