I am thrilled to bring a short Q&A to the online blog by C.H. Armstrong author of "The Edge of Nowhere" and "ROAM". In this short interview, author C.H. Armstrong will give us some insight on the inspiration behind her novel "The Edge of Nowhere."
I read "The Edge of Nowhere" about two years ago and it has been a novel that stays with me. Every triumph and pain was felt. I loved learning more from the author and what inspired her to write this masterpiece, makes it more of a personal read. You will understand why this story lingers longer then most after reading this interview.
The main character Victoria is a true survivor, not only a survivor but a powerful women that lived her life many times over. The tragedy that Victoria faces is painful to read but she continues to move forward. With that, this novel reminds us that through the struggles and the wins some scars still are left behind and can never be forgotten.
Please read on to hear more about "The Edge of Nowhere" from the author herself!
First question : What factors or events in your life inspired you to create Victoria?
Victoria was entirely inspired by my grandmother who raised 14 children during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl in Oklahoma. I hadn’t originally intended to publish this novel as it was written as an exercise in trying to understand a little more about my grandmother and why she was the way she was. So, while the skeleton of the story reflects some of the situations my grandmother endured as a widow in an era when women relied heavily on men to survive, the overall novel is a figment of my own “imagining” how many of the situations went down so I could (hopefully) understand her better.
Second question :There are so many heartbreaking events in this book, which main event in Victoria's life was the hardest for you to write about?
Probably Will’s death because it was my imagined recreation of my own grandfather’s death.My own grandfather (also named Will) died from an appendicitis rupture when my father was about 4. From everything I understand, my grandfather was much like the book-Will in that he was a hard worker, tough on the outside, “larger than life,” yet soft on the inside where only his wife and children actually saw. When he was struggling with stomach pains associated with his appendicitis, he completely blew it off and refused to take anything but baking soda to settle his stomach. By the time they realized he was in serious trouble, they tried to take him to town for the doctor, but town was too far away with only a horse and wagon to get them there. Still, they loaded up the wagon, but he died en route.
Last but not least, I like to ask everyone this question: What novel has changed your life or inspired you to write?
Without any doubt, the book that changed my life was Harper Lee’s TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. I read it first in 8th grade and, though I couldn’t pinpoint what I loved about it then, I reread it many times over the years until I finally understood it was the many lessons of empathy and compassion that kept resonating with me. As a result, those lessons defined from a very young age what kind of person I would become. It taught me to look at the world from outside my own lens—to quite literally imagine the world from the perspectives of those around me. And, in an odd way, it’s probably why I finally sat down to write THE EDGE OF NOWHERE because I was trying to see the world from my grandmother’s perspective and, hopefully, understand her better.
If you haven't read "The Edge of Nowhere" this is your sign to do so. Copies are available here at Heart & Soul Books and also on the online shop. Thank you C.H. Armstrong for your time and letting us have a glimpse on how this novel was formed!