The author, on how her dogs help and hinder her writing:
They hinder the writing but they help me. Border collies need at least two serious rounds of exercise every day along with mental tasks / brain work. We always go out before I write and when we come back, because they're happy, they'll give me a good 6 hours of writing. I've done longer stretches (maybe breaking for 10 mins) and they start to get bored – bark at stuff outside, circle the study. (Right now Cooper is under the desk at my feet totally relaxed and Juniper is nudging my left hand with her nose....) The dogs actually help me with my work/life balance. Back in December when I was working 12 hrs a day writing toward a deadline we were all miserable – I never want to be that snappish again. The dogs inspire me too. I love...[read on]About Hunter's new novel The World Before Us, from the publisher:
In the tradition of A. S. Byatt's Possession, a hauntingly poignant novel about madness, loss, and the ties that bind our past to our presentVisit Aislinn Hunter's website.
Deep in the woods of northern England, somewhere between a dilapidated estate and an abandoned Victorian asylum, fifteen-year-old Jane Standen lived through a nightmare. She was babysitting a sweet young girl named Lily, and in one fleeting moment, lost her. The little girl was never found, leaving her family and Jane devastated.
Twenty years later, Jane is an archivist at a small London museum that is about to close for lack of funding. As a final research project--an endeavor inspired in part by her painful past--Jane surveys the archives for information related to another missing person: a woman who disappeared over one hundred years ago in the same woods where Lily was lost. As Jane pieces moments in history together, a portrait of a fascinating group of people starts to unfurl. Inexplicably tied to the mysterious disappearance of long ago, Jane finds tender details of their lives at the country estate and in the asylum that are linked to her own heartbroken world, and their story from all those years ago may now help Jane find a way to move on.
In riveting, beautiful prose, The World Before Us explores the powerful notion that history is a closely connected part of us--kept alive by the resonance of our daily choices--reminding us of the possibility that we are less alone than we might think.
Coffee with a Canine: Aislinn Hunter & Cooper and Juniper.