Frances de Pontes Peebles answered my question about her book

The Air You Breathe remains one of the best books I’ve recently read. Please read my review of the book here. I still miss the book. I miss its characters, its atmosphere and its quality. The book feels like classic even though it’s just been published. I was sure that it took not only skill and talent but time to grow a book like this. I wanted to check if my perception was correct but Google gave no answer, so I asked Frances de Pontes Peebles herself.

In her reply Frances said that it took whole nine years to write the book! There were five years of working on the book in total. Frances had to take time off in between but she still kept thinking about the book, “pining for the idea, WANTING to work on it”.

Turns out I was right, The Air You Breathe took years to mature. The book is a gem. I envy all who haven’t read it yet.

For my post I used the photo of the author from her official Facebook page.
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6 thoughts on “Frances de Pontes Peebles answered my question about her book

    1. How long have you spent on yours? Sometimes I think that’s why classics always sound different. They didn’t hurry anywhere. The book grows while they are shaping and reshaping it with years. I think some perfect form can be only achieved after you tried millions of others, but also after you thought about it for a long time and found something there you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. The only other time I felt I was reading something that seamless was with Margaret Atwood (her earlier works not the ones publicized now).

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      1. I have only spent about 4 months on mine. I did write a novel last year, which took about 8 months. I’m very serious about my current one so I’ll work on it until I’m happy with it. Oddly, some books were apparently written really quickly because the author was so inspired, while others take a long time to perfect. Depends how much time they have available. I have so little time to get into the swing of writing now that it could well take me several years! I liked some of Atwood’s earlier books too. One of the most well written and structured books I can think of is Villette by Charlotte Bronte. No idea how long it took her to write, but there wasn’t a lot else to do on those days…

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      2. Those that were written quickly can also be good but they still have a different feeling about them. I haven’t read this one of Bronte. I totally agree with you about people of certain class having more time to write books. I heard that that’s why Tolstoy wrote. He wrote not because he was an author but because the nobility was expected to create art, books, music. That’s what they were doing all day. Some definitely were more talented than others :)) Anyway, the main thing I want to talk about is your novel. WOW! Congratulations on that! That’s a huge thing to have a whole novel finished! Do you reread it? 🙂

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      3. No I don’t re-read it – I sent it to agents etc but it’s the kind of novel I’d prob self publish when I have the time. Maybe re-work it one day. I’m proud of having finished it (and about 3 whole edits) but then I wanted to move on, because I had new ideas! Which is why I’m writing another one. I think it has more commercial appeal and more chance of getting attention. Thanks for taking an interest 🙂

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