In this interview, Alma Kroeker talks about her blog novel, In the Absence of White Rabbits:
When did you start writing?
I would say that I started writing as a child, but this particular work began about four years ago. I was lucky enough to have a day-job that allowed me to work on the novel.
I didn’t want to be overly poetic with the writing which is why I decided to make half the novel dialogue.
Publication was simply a means to having the story out there, for anyone who might be interested.
Who is your target audience?
I worked in a hospital and was witness to some of the issues and people, surrounding the field of psychiatry.
I wanted to write something that would incorporate both sides, doctor and patient, of the experience of being mentally ill. As such, the novel is probably of most interest to those people, though others have also enjoyed it.
How have your personal experiences influenced your writing?
I think we’ve all, at times, on a spectrum of intensity, felt the pressures of life and looked for ways to escape or alleviate that stress.
What are your main concerns as a writer?
That there is something helpful in my novel and that no one will be able to access that information.
Do you write everyday?
I tend to write at least a little bit each day. It depends on how inspired I am.
There are also times where I feel pressed by the characters to tell their story and I will write for hours.
How many novels have you written so far?
Just the one – In the Absence of White Rabbits (2009).
The novel examines a woman’s deteriorating psychosis and her relationship with her doctor.
Why did you decide to release the novel as a blog?
The process of obtaining a publisher is difficult for any new writer.
It was most important to me that the novel be made available to the public. A blog is a forum where people can easily, and without cost, access the novel as well as contribute criticism. However, getting the site recognised is a difficult process (html formatting can also drive me crazy).
It is my hope that the novel's first year online will see a dramatic increase in readers.
Which were the most difficult aspects of the work you put into the novel?
The main character experiences a great deal of turmoil; I found it difficult to write for lengthy periods of time while being submersed in her world.
Which aspects of the work did you enjoy most?
The end. I wrote the last sentence and thought I was done when out of nowhere another sentence was put down which completely changed the tone of the story.
What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
I wrote a story and people read it.
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