On Thursday night I rushed out the door to get to Watchung Booksellers for Pamela Redmond’s reading and book signing for her new novel The Possibility of You. Although I arrived late, I still had the chance to enjoy hearing Redmond read and then talk about choices she made in revisions and development during her writing process.
I especially enjoyed hearing why she chose to include references to various cultural and historical icons like Margaret Sanger and Patti Smith. Pamela Redmond explained that while writing the novel, she read Smith’s Just Kids, and the section in which Smith talks candidly about giving up a baby to adoption resonated with the themes in The Possibility of You. And with the need to provide some reassurance for Billie, a character in the 1976 section of the novel, Patti Smith became a piece of Redmond’s developing story. See the author read that section below.
After her readings, Redmond answered questions from the eager gathering, and she talked about various influences, the gumption it takes to stick with an idea after negative comments from editors, and the satisfaction of writing something with more depth and research than a purely contemporary work. An interesting discussion ensued when some attendees wondered if today’s children are interested of not in their parents’ and grandparents’ stories.
A novel like The Possibility of You provides both conversation starters about how past generations have influenced us, and more importantly, how we might be influencing our future descendants with our choices today. Watchung Booksellers has signed copies of The Possibility of You for sale right now – I watched the author sign them!