I recently read and reviewed Willow Pond by Carol Tibaldi. The book was great, and I wanted to asked Carol a few questions…
Carol, please can you tell us a little but about yourself?
I live in Bayside, New York. At one time I lived in London at the exact address where Maggie and Andy (Todd) lived 74 Onslow Gardens in South Kensington. I was also a crime reporter for twenty years.
What was your inspiration for Willow Pond, and why did you decide to set the story in the 1930’s?
I’m fascinated by the time period. The whole era was exciting with flappers, jazz and speakeasies. Women had more freedom sexually than they had at any other time up until then. They bobbed their hair and the hemlines went up. I just imagine that going to a speakeasy must have been a lot of fun.
How long did it take to write the book and did you enjoy the process?
It took a little over two years. When it was going smoothly I enjoyed it, but when I ran into snags it was frustrating. I love creating characters and watching them grow and develop.
The characters of Virginia and Laura and both strong females with a clear bond. How did you develop them?
The character of Virginia is based on two people. One is a woman named Texas Guinan who owned a speakeasy called the 300 Club that was frequented by many celebrities and gangsters. The other woman I patterned Virginia after was my grandmother. My grandmother probably was never even inside a speakeasy, but she was one tough lady.
With Laura I wanted to create a female character that was beautiful, but unaffected by that beauty. It has no meaning to her; in fact she dislikes when people notice her because of her looks. She falls in love with Erich because he values her intelligence and divorces Phillip because he only values her looks.
What techniques did you use when writing the novel to get across to the reader the bond that these two characters share?
The first thing is that Laura can never forget that Virginia gave her and her sister a home after their parents were killed. She knows who Virginia really is and that there is much more to her than most people believe. These two women respect each other and love each other. That’s why Laura breaks up with Erich when he tells her he believes Virginia is behind the kidnapping. She knows Virginia would never do anything to hurt her
Did you conduct any research in order to represent the speakeasy that Virginia owns and the period of the book?
Yes, I did a lot of research both online and in books. I researched the clothes they wore and some of the expressions they used. I wanted it to be as authentic as possible.
I’m sure readers will want to know if you have any future plans to follow Laura and/or Virginia’s story…
Oh yes, I’m currently working on the sequel to Willow Pond
Can you give readers a taster of what to expect in your next book?
Laura has to accept the fact that Todd doesn’t remember her and thinks Nancy is his mother. Things don’t go as smoothly as she hoped they would. And the one person she’d always counted on can’t help her.
Thank you Carol!