Interview with Sylvia S. Mader, author of A Water Lily Blooms
Inside the Book:
Title: A Water Lily Blooms
Author: Sylvia S. Mader
Genre: Coming of Age
Format: Ecopy /Paperback
An attractive young woman lies critically injured and comatose in a hospital bed far from home. Images come and go as she struggles to regain consciousness. Is that a tall, dark man beckoning her from a distance? Will she reach him? Or will her life be cut short, denying her a second chance for happiness? How did she get from being a happy, promising young pre-med student to here? And like this?
This coming of age tale follows the struggles of a driven but naive high school graduate. Andrea Bradford leaves her peaceful Martha’s Vineyard home for college, wanting to be a physician — a true professional, just like so many boys in her class. But once at college, she begins suffering the anxieties of homesickness, a blistering schedule, constant disagreements with her mother, and the uncertainty of a possible stage career. Meanwhile, several romances awaken her pent-up sexuality and introduce her to inter-racial realities and even the lure of New York high society.
Episodes of confusion, disappointment, elation, tragedy, and reconciliation all shape Andie, as she grows to become a mature, competent woman by the end of this truly “American” story.
Do you listen to music when you write? Yes, often. Classical music through headphones. Nothing like it to cut you off from the world “out there.” But not always. When there’s silence to listen to, I’ll listen to that, with no less pleasure. Do you have suggestions for upcoming writers? Seems too obvious to need saying, but: WRITE. I’ve met “upcoming writers” who are always “going to write.” Secondly: read. It sometimes surprises me how many don’t. Maybe they fear what they read will swamp their originality. That’s not likely. Third – this works for me but may not for everybody: set aside a specific time of day for writing and nothing but writing. Make it inviolable. It becomes a habit – you can’t not write when that time comes. You don’t have to force yourself to write; time itself initiates the flow. What do you enjoy doing when you are not reading/writing? Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in winter, swimming in summer, long, long walks in all seasons. Can you tell us some authors that inspire you? Many, many. My book is dedicated to Don Quixote, so Cervantes. Dostoevsky. Very much Dostoevsky. Murasaki Shikibu, author of The Tale of Genji. Melville of Moby Dick. Kafka. Lately I’ve been reading Jane Austen. She’s amazing. Her novels are extraordinary – and yet peopled by the most ordinary characters doing the most ordinary things in the most ordinary places. There’s much, much inspiration to be drawn from her. What did you want to be when you were a child? First, a hockey player. Then a rock’n roll drummer. After that it was pretty much writing all the way. How do you handle bad reviews? Depends – on what the review says, on the mood I’m in. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it hurts very much. Sometimes I shrug it off. Sometimes I say, “That’s true, why didn’t I think of that?” Sometimes I get my back up and say, “If you didn’t like it I must be doing something right!”
Sylvia Mader is the author of “Inquiry Into Life, 16th edition;” “Biology, 13th edition” and “Human Biology, 16th edition,” making her one of America’s most successful college textbook authors of the last twenty-five years. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College, who taught community college students and wrote most of her textbooks while raising two beautiful children. She lived on Martha’s Vineyard for nearly twenty years, and is now a grandmother, living in Hollywood, Florida. This is her debut novel. She is currently working on a second one.