The Accidental Suffragist, Galia Gichon’s debut novel takes place in New York from 1911-19. Helen Fox, a working mother as so many poor women were forced to be then, decides, after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, to fight for better conditions for women workers, and eventually for the vote. Meticulously researched, the novel paints a picture of life at that time and dialogue brings the author’s characters alive. I found the scene where the main character and her fellow protesters arrive in jail to be particularly vivid and dramatic. Being British, I didn’t know much about this period in American women’s history and learned a lot while being entertained. Knowing what a busy life Galia Gichon leads, I asked her where she found time to write. Here’s what she had to say.
I find it very hard to write at home. I wish I could but I’m too distracted by domestic matters (i.e. kids, dog, meals). So, there are three places that work well for me to write:
The first is Metro-North! The train ride from Westport to Grand Central is a little over an hour each way which is a great block of time for me to work on a chapter. This week, I’m traveling, so my writing space is the plane.
I also like the Westport library or coffee shops such as Terrain, Green and Tonic, or the new GG and Joe downtown. I know I’m going there just to write and utilize the block of time accordingly.
Finally, my writing class. During my current class, we write to prompts provided by the teacher. I find these are sometimes my most creative and freshest works.
I do have a desk at home, and when I am writing at my desk, I look at a quote my sister gave me: What Will You Write Today? It is very inspiring and reminds me of the support that is essential for this solitary practice.
I’m currently working on two new novels. One is another historical novel with a strong female protagonist set during the 1960s and ’70s. The second is a contemporary novel with female characters involved in the world of finance and deceit.
Galia will be a featured author at the Westport Library’s live and virtual author event on August 9 at 7pm. Register for the live or virtual evening here. The author would be delighted to hear from you, and if you can’t make the book event, you can connect with her via her website, Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads, and Amazon. The book is available everywhere, including Bookshop, the online bookstore that benefits indie bookshops.