There was a year of no desire. I don’t know why. Margo said I was depressed; Jill thought it was “the change.” That phrase made me laugh. I didn’t think I was depressed. I still grinned when I saw the roadrunner waiting to join me on my morning walk. I still stopped to look at the sky when fat clouds piled up against the blue, or in the evenings when it streaked orange and purple in the west. Those moments did not feel like depression.
But I didn’t desire my husband, and there was no certain reason for it, and as the months went by, the distance between us grew. I tried to talk myself out of this, but my body would not comply. Finally, I decided to rely on what in my case would be mother wisdom, or as Sharlene would say, “to fake it until you make it.”
-Excerpt from We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride. Copyright © 2014 by Laura McBride. Reprinted by permissions of Simon & Schuster, Inc., NY.
Late Night Library: Summarize your book in 10 words or fewer.
Laura McBride: Page 197: “What is most beautiful is least acknowledged.”
LNL: If this book were the lovechild of two others, who are its parents?
LM: Fifty Shades of Grey and The South Beach Diet?
LNL: What ingredients go into the recipe of your writing style?
LM: 2 cups commas, 1 cup clauses (group like clauses near), 1/3 cup periods, 3 T rhetorical questions, a dash of two-word sentences, 1 exclamation point.
Apply to page in layers: immediate physical sensation, flashback, reflection, question, new physical sensation, awareness of place, resolution. Fold in dialogue as desired. Apply line spaces liberally. Stop to read. Oh, and some licorice. Because I like licorice.
LNL: Name one book you wish you could read again for the first time.
LM: A Catcher in the Rye. So I could hit that passage where Holden explains that he imagined himself catching small children before they fell off the edge of the rye. I wish I could read that paragraph for the first time every day.
LNL: Answer a question you wish people would ask you about writing.
LM: Why do you do it? For the pleasure of solving a problem, realizing a truth, understanding another: to make something, to feel something, to live something.
Get a copy of We Are Called to Rise at IndieBound.
Laura McBride is a writer and community college teacher. A graduate of Yale, she completed part of this novel while at Yaddo. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her husband and two children.