Author Interview: Kathleen Cook Waldron on The Story Sanctuary

Reviewed by: The Story Sanctuary

Author Interview with Kathleen Cook Waldron

I find that a story was often inspired by a question. Was there a question that inspired you to write Between Shadows?

I wondered what would happen if a child were to inherit a cabin on mostly wild land? What if his family wanted or felt they needed to sell it? How would he feel? What could he do? The plot for Between Shadows grew out of those questions. The original idea came from my husband's and my personal experience of buying land with no registered access, deciding to build a log house on it, then asking ourselves how we were going to get to it.

I love that the story rose out of that personal moment. It definitely comes across in the story– Ari's relationship with the cabin and the wilderness feel deep and alive. I love that Ari's grandfather's cabin is painted all different colors. Did something inspire you to create the cabin that way? Where did you draw inspiration for Ari's grandfather from?

The inspiration for the rainbow-colored cabin came from the possibility of combining our log home maintenance with the half-empty paint cans stacked in our storage room. Rather than re-staining the logs their natural color, why not use up some of that old paint instead? Ari's grandfather is a blend of my own wonderful grandfather with the one man who lived in our tiny community of Mahood Falls who seemed to be the only person whom all our neighbors both liked and admired.

Is there a scene or moment in Between Shadows that really sticks with you? Can you tell us a little bit about it?

One of the scenes I had the most fun writing was when all the neighbors arrived unannounced. I loved the noise and chaos of it, not to mention Dad and Aunt Laurel's reactions. It was the kind of show of support I would wish for myself as well as a turning point in the story. It presented a glimmer of hope for Ari and Tam that their plan might actually work.

That was a great scene. We definitely need community when we go through hard times– sometimes more than we realize we do. What do you most hope that readers take away from Between Shadows?

I hope readers take away the importance of staying connected to family, to nature, and to our heritage. Specifically, I hope readers who have lost someone they love can take comfort from Ari and knowing they aren't alone.

So true. Grief is never easy to navigate. It's good to have those connections to help us get through. What is one question about Between Shadows you are often asked by readers?

Many readers have asked why Aunt Laurel seems so mean. My answer is that she is mourning her father's death, and all of us react differently to loss. She reacts with anger at the world and a need to try to control everyone and everything around her. I hope readers can see her opening up as the story progresses.

The full interview can be found on The Story Sanctuary.

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