I hold a Ph.D. in Early Modern (Renaissance) literature and spent a fair amount of time studying the history of science and medicine. I’m now writing a novel loosely based on the life of Margaret Cavendish, the Duchess of Newcastle, a 17th-century writer, natural philosopher, and poet.
I am also the mother of two daughters, wife of a family practice doctor, writing teacher, board president of a nonprofit library, and caretaker of one very freaky greyhound dog.
These things don’t exactly mesh smoothly.
In some ways that’s frustrating. It’s hard to toggle between strategic budgeting for the library to crafting a dastardly but likable antagonist, or from discussing a cookie-dough school fundraiser to creating a vivid description of a 17th-century birthing stool.
But in some ways, it’s really, really cool. Little bits of historical information, the flotsam and jetsam of my research and imaginings, will sometimes jut through placid waters of my day-to-day experience, bringing me out of the mundane and into the fantastical.