1. What was the inspiration for The Woefield Poultry Collective?
I was inspired by the tension between the contemporary desire (and need) to be more self-sustaining and all the factors that make it difficult. In my case, I lack the right circumstances, skills and funds. So I decided to send a well-meaning character to a derelict farm to see how she’d make out. It seems to me that people always matter as much or more than ideals if you’re going to have a successful life.
2. You write about some serious subjects in the book. Was it difficult to strike a balance between those issues, and the humour that makes this book so lovable?
I like my comedy to have some dark undertones. Without their troubles the characters’ (very small) triumphs wouldn’t mean as much. Peter Devries once wrote that “comedy deals with that part of our suffering that is exempt from tragedy”. That feels really true to me.3. What is not to love about this book? I fell in love with the eclectic mix of misfits. Is this the last we will see of these characters?
Thank you! I guess it depends on whether people feel the same as you. I’d love to write a Further Adventures of Woefield Farm.
That’s a tough question! I loved them all in their own way. Seth was a lot of fun and I understood where he was coming from, though I never had a traumatic incident with a high school production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Sara was also entertaining to write, though I worried about her a lot. She gave me an excuse to go to agricultural fairs and check out the show chickens and the 4-H competitors and call it research instead of pure, Grade A entertainment.