A Field, A Quilt, A Novel

In his seminal novel Look Homeward, Angel, Thomas Wolfe gave us an extraordinary place.

In writing my new novel, INDIGO FIELD, I was inspired in part by  Wolfe’s lush and vivid prose descriptions of extraordinary North Carolina places. To me, Indigo Field is a place so full of layers of history and mystery, plants and animals, people and hauntings, that it shimmers with life in my imagination.

Over the many years of drafting, my talented friend AJ Coutu has been listening to my frustrations, my wine-infused rhapsodies, my struggles and triumphs on the page. We go on regular retreats together, where I tear out my hair and write, and she calmly quilts, draws, makes other kinds of art.

Two years ago she surprised me with a quilt.

A quilt so full of life, it shimmers. A quilt that spookily tells the story of my Field, though AJ had never read my book in whole, only parts. Gorgeous images, a fish that is a rainbow, a wild woman dancing, suns and stars, patterns and squares, gros-grain ribbon that could be just the thing to mark a passage in the Bible, and spirits loose in the land. My heart was full. I slept under this quilt and dreamed. I dreamed that my novel would somehow get loose in the world.  And now it will. Regal House publisher Jaynie Royal said the words every novelist wants to hear: I love it.

Caption: The marvelous fabric designer who created the center panel of the quilt is Laurel Burch, an extraordinary California artist who died in 2007. Her inspiring life story is here.

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