This was my favourite question/answer from my recent interview with Fernie, BC-based writer Angie Abdou for Prairie Books Now about her fourth novel, Between.
Angie's answer was too long to make it into the article intact, but I liked the progression of the thought, so I thought I'd include it here in its entirety:
What was it like taking first-world love, marriage, and parenthood as subjects while being in the middle of them yourself?
That's a good question. In my acknowledgements, I thank my family and comment that I know this book was a particularly hard one, for everyone.
I believe parents very quickly forget the intense challenge of raising young children. Once children are older, parents are quicker to give advice and talk about "right" ways to parent and "wrong" ways to parent and parenting strategies that "work" and parenting strategies that "don't work." People who are right in it are never so smug.
As I moved out of the young children stage, I couldn't let myself forget its intense challenges—the strain it put on my career, my relationship, my sanity. I wanted to remember, exactly, so that I could capture those challenges in an honest and detailed way on the page.
That meant dwelling on that stage more than I should have—and also dwelling on gender inequality around being a working parent, a working mother. Such a focus didn't really put me in the best frame of mind for dealing with my own specific challenges. I was angry a lot of the time, and occasionally despairing.