Author Joanna Quinn spent 10 years writing “The Whalebone Theatre.” (Photo credit: Nancy Turner / Courtesy of Knopf) When Joanna Quinn sat down to write her first novel, she knew she wanted to create the sort of sprawling epic period piece she loves to read. Of course, writing a novel like that takes longer than the typical autobiographical coming-of-age debut, and for Quinn, who had a six-month-old daughter and a full-time job in communications, the challenges were even greater. “The Whalebone Theatre” is the saga of a feisty and independent young girl named Cristabel, as she grows up an outsider in her own wealthy British family; she dreams of becoming a theater director before World War II tugs her, and her beloved cousin Digby, down a new and more dangerous path. It clocks in at 576 pages and took Quinn a decade to complete. Related : Sign up for our free newsletter about books, authors, reading and more Quinn says her inexperience allowed her to take on this massive task.“Not having done it before was useful because I had no idea how long it would take or how long the book would be,” she said during a recent video interview. “A lot of my ideas in the early days were written into the notes app on my phone while I was walking around pushing my pram.” Quinn started off aiming to write a chapter a month but when she was too tired to write she'd dive into her research. […]
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