In the fall of 2007, I took a novel-in-progress class at Grub Street with instructor and author, Lisa Borders. It was the first time I was showing anyone the novel I was working on, which turned out to be the early drafts of FEAST OF SORROW. It was there that I met Anjali Mitter Duva, who was workshopping the early drafts of her beautiful novel about 16th century devadasi dancers in India, FAINT PROMISE OF RAIN.
That class, and meeting those women, quite literally changed the course of my life. Anjali and I started meeting up to talk about writing and read each other's work, and then, after taking another novel in progress course with Lisa, I met Jennifer Dupee, who I invited to join us. Over the course of the next few years, we had a few other women come and go, each of them making their mark on our manuscripts along the way. Then Kelly Robertson joined us in 2011 and we've been together as a writing team ever since.
We have a schedule, meeting every two weeks at a local restaurant that we love. We hack apart each other's chapters, we talk about the craft of writing, the business of publishing and over the years, we've become dear friends. We named ourselves the Salt + Radish writers for a few reasons. One, we love the French snack and share it every summer on our writing retreat. Salt is a foundation, it is sustenance, and we give that to each other nearly daily. Radishes represent flavor and conviviality--we have had hundreds of meals together. Together they are a recipe for unexpected deliciousness. I'm sure that Anjali, Jen and Kelly have their own color they could add to that explanation, too.
Today Google photos served up this montage of wonderfulness. These were photos taken on our yearly retreat in Maine, where we write, on a strict schedule, for 3-4 glorious days. I thought this video was perfect. It represents a lot to me--happiness, in my writing, my partnership with these fantastic women and ongoing progress in my writing life.
Thank you, my dear Salt + Radish writers, for being awesome.