Author Q & A with Adeline Lovell
September 23, 2022
This week’s author Q&A is with Adeline Lovell. Addie is a native of Brooklyn, New York. She attends Smith College where her focus is Women and Gender Studies with a concentration in Creative Writing. She is the author of the award-winning story “Burning” and the runner-up for the 2022 Honeybee Literature Prize in fiction. We had the privilege to ask Adeline about the creative process for her latest work, “The Children.”
We began by asking which aspects of the writing process stood out or surprised her most.
Her response: “This piece mostly started from stand-alone scenes that came from prompts in creative writing classes. I wrote the flashback scene with Brittany and Caroline as teenagers first, and then felt like there was more to their relationship, after they’ve grown and dealt/not dealt with their own dysfunction. I think the time that this is being published is the weirdest detail—I wrote this way before the Roe decision, certainly not expecting that if or when it was published, abortion rights would be in such a dire place. I feel happy that this is being published right now. I hope that now, this piece reads as another reminder of the many reasons that women make this choice, and that none of them should have to be justified.”
A very insightful and honest take on how this story relates to modern times! We then asked her what new discoveries she made about her craft and overall writing style in the making of this story.
Her response: “This piece didn’t feel complete for a long time—I wrote it non-chronologically, not even knowing if I could make it into a concise story. That’s pretty different from my usual process when I’m writing short fiction, so by the time I sat down and tried to consider it as a longer piece, a lot of it was already done. So that was a new experience for me, in terms of craft. I felt really tender towards my two main characters in this piece—I didn’t really favor one over the other—which was kind of new for me, given that they do a lot of unintentional hurting of each other. It was a really fun and interesting thing to explore
It’s always exciting to surprise yourself and learn more about yourself as a writer when drafting new work! We then asked Addie what she enjoys most about the artistic process.
Her response: I love the initial process of writing a story. Writing scenes for the first time, however much they end up changing, is so much fun for me. I feel like I’m often reminding myself that writing is supposed to be fun even as it’s also incredibly hard, frustrating, and occasionally infuriating. But I LOVE the feeling of getting into a zone where I know what I want to say and feel the urgency to write it.
The sense of urgency that she describes is felt by many writers out there, as is the ultimate reward that comes with writing new work. We finally asked her about her writing influences and what fuels her desire to write:
Her response: Reading good fiction, seeing something that I want to find an interesting way to describe, getting overwhelmed by an emotion that feels important enough to explore in some context other than my life…I think Alice Munro, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Elizabeth Strout are probably my biggest influences. I write a lot about family dynamics and dysfunction, and every time I read them, I’m just floored by how compelling and smart their work is.
We asked Addie if there was anything else she wanted to share with potential readers?
Her response: I feel like now is as relevant a time as any to remind everyone who is able to donate to abortion funds and listen to and amplify the voices of the poor women and WOC in red states who are most affected by new laws, and to never let the lawmakers who were responsible for this have a moment of peace.
And finally, when we asked her what she thinks of when she hears the phrase, “The Good Life,” her response was as follows:
There are so, so, so many things, but right now, I’m answering these questions outside a coffee shop with live music, drinking an iced lavender latte and sitting next to my best friend. It feels very relevant.
Thanks Addie for sharing your words with us and being a part of our Summer issue. We appreciate you taking extra time with us on this Q&A and wish you the best!
~The Good Life Review Team