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Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
I am Harriet Pike, author of "Enemy in the Garden." Since the moment I picked up my first library book at age 5, I've always loved reading. I wanted to hold a book in my hand, read for hours in the comfortable chair near the window and, most of all, someday see my own name on the spine of a book. Born of a curiosity about how things work and why people do what they do, I hoped to capture these things on paper. I guess my first "writerly" thought was lying in bed at age 6 and thinking how I would describe myself lying in bed. Writing is something I have done all my life. After majoring in English literature in college, I graduated to a job as a daily news reporter, followed by a career in journalism, editing and political and non-profit public relations. Now that I've published a book, I can add novelist to the credits.
What first inspired you to start writing?
The beautiful, elegant writing of the masters of English: Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, Jane Austen, Gerard Manley Hopkins, plus Joan Didion, Philip Roth and Michael Chabon, to name a few. Their deep understanding of human nature is an inspiration to me.
Which author do you most admire and why?
I'd have to go with Virginia Woolf, the subject of my English honors' thesis.
She was a woman who struggled with mental illness but was still able to create a world in beautiful prose. (Maybe you have to be a little crazy to be an extraordinary writer).
Where did the idea for Enemy in the Garden come from?
I'm fascinated by the way in which anti-Semitism manages to morph and change in different countries and historical eras, but doesn't disappear. While it has always existed in some form in America, its twisted appeal ebbs and rises at different times. Exploring how it affects an ordinary suburban couple in a particular period, the 1970s, when conflicting ideologies tear at the fabric of society, was a tantalizing hook.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
Playing with words, making them "perform" the task you've set, is what I find most satisfying.
And the most challenging?
Story ideas are everywhere: in the media, in your community, in your family. What is difficult is figuring out motivation for human actions. In order for a work of fiction to ring true, the actions of characters need to have a basis in reality.
What is your favourite song lyric?
"Over the Rainbow."
What are you working on at the moment?
Still in the thriller mode, I am considering a novel about a community on the brink of a nuclear catastrophe.
Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
Once I have gotten over the hump of marketing "Enemy in the Garden," (available as a paperback or ebook on Amazon.com), I'll have more to say on the subject of future works. Goodreads' author page is a place to keep us with what I'm doing.
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