After some years pursuing an academic career, Carolyn Korsmeyer now spends most of her time at the keyboard writing fiction. In addition to wanting to see what happens as her plots unfold (for she is an incurable pantser), Carolyn sees fictional narrative as an opportunity to reflect on memory, impression, and the different angles that characters (and the sorts of people they represent) have on the same subject. This inspired the focus of today’s talk: “Shifting Voices and Multiple Points of View.”
Many of the scenes in her new novel, Little Follies: A Mystery at the Millennium, present differing perspectives on events that are imperfectly understood. Two of the main characters are Americans who have moved to Krakow for several months. They are not familiar with the place, only one of them speaks Polish, and to add to that source of disorientation, they stumble across the path of a man who is dabbling in magic.
Adam, a historian, is conducting research at the archives of a large museum. His companion, Joan, has come along for the ride, harboring vague plans to re-boot her journalism career. As the story progresses, it is her perspective that comes to guide the reader, for it is Joan who emerges as the person whose actions and points of view prevail. She is an example of a female character who begins fictional life in a role that is adjunct to her male companion, but whose voice becomes more and more prominent as her inventiveness and sense of adventure propel the plot and its resolution.
Carolyn is familiar with Krakow—one of her favorite cities—from five extended visits there. She discovered on each trip how radically and quickly the city was changing. In Little Follies, she tries to capture the feeling of the place at the end of the last century. This novel took a very long time to complete, as each time she came back to Krakow she wanted to revisit the scenes where the story takes place. Little Follies is an example of a book where patience and a lot of revision finally paid off.
You can learn more about Carolyn at her website: www.carolynkorsmeyer.com, where there are links to her books, blogs, and podcasts.
Please find your copy of Little Follies at your favorite bookseller, at Black Rose Writing: https://www.blackrosewriting.com/mystery/littlefollies
or at amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1685131050/