One Line Inspires Book
BY KIRSTEN BALLARD
"The dream is always the same" is the line that inspired Emily Colin's book "The Memory Thief." A book about love, adventure and strength of memory, "The Memory Thief" is Colin's debut novel. She will be at The Country Bookshop Wednesday, Aug. 22, at 5:30 p.m. for a reading of her novel.
"The Memory Thief" is about a climber who dies on Mount McKinley after his wife pleads with him not to go on the trip. His best friend survives the trip - and carries a flame for the wife. A North Carolina man wakes up from an accident with the consciousness and desires of the dead climber.
Colin got the idea after reading Jennifer Lowe-Anker's memoir about her husband's climbing accident.
"I started to think how mountain climbers are, in many ways, the modern equivalent of Magellan or Ponce de Leon," says Colin.
She didn't know much about writing when she started the novel. She had no plot line. Colin works full-time and is a mother as well.
"I had no idea what I was doing," says Colin.
Being a mother and author also had its challenges.
"It's been challenging to feel like it's OK for me to take time away from (my son) to write," says Colin.
Colin squeezes in writing time whenever she can - just plugs in her headphones and listens to the sound track she created for the novel. She doesn't have the luxury of saying, "Oh, I'm just not feeling it today."
"I don't get to be a diva," says Colin.
The characters slowly evolved in her mind.
"At some point they became so real to me that I'd see a Jeep on the street and think, 'Oh, maybe that's Aidan James' car.' And then I'd remember: 'No, that's not possible, because I made him up.'"
Colin enrolled in a writers' extension program after writing 150 pages. Writer Caroline Leavitt became her mentor.
Colin also had to learn about rock climbing through Outward Bound climbing instructors and a climbing consultant at a gym in Wilmington.
"The dream is always the same" line spoke to Colin as she wrote the book, focusing her and uniting the story. Ironically, it did not end up in the book.
After nine months of writing and four months of revision, Colin's book has debuted this month.
Looking at the final product, Colin says she is thrilled and considers herself lucky. She just finished the manuscript of her second novel.
Contact Kirsten Ballard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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