I’m happy to welcome author Mollie Cox Bryan to my blog today! Mollie was nominated for an Agatha this year for best first novel. She is crazy about scrapbooking and here she tells you why!
Ten Reasons I Use Scrapbooking in my fiction:
As the author of scrapbooking-themed mysteries, I’ve been asked this question a lot over the past several years: Why scrapbooking? Of course, I’ve given it some thought and here are my ten reasons.
1. Community. I’ve been around different craft communities in the past. I don’t know if any other crafters get together as frequently as scrapper do. But it seems integral to the craft to get together and share. What better reason to bring a group of individuals together on a regular basis on the page.
2. A lens. Scrapbooking provides an intimate lens into my character’s lives. We see the importance of their family, their achievements, and the other facets of their lives, like cooking and baking. In my first book Scrapbook of Secrets, my croppers make scrapbooks for children belonging to a woman who has mysteriously died. They piece together more than photos and pretty paper. They piece together a life full of depth and secrets.
3. Puzzles equal mystery. Have you ever thought about the puzzle aspect to scrapbooking? Looking for the right picture, embellishment, paper, and so on and putting it all together is one aspect of it. But in my second book, we puzzle out another character’s personality by looking through her mysterious scrapbook of shadows. To me, more than any other craft (except maybe quilting) scrapbooking lends itself to mysteries.
4. Remembering the past. In my next book, due out next year, one of my characters discovers an old scrapbook that relates to an event happening around her. The past leaves footprints everywhere, including scrapbooking. I wanted to explore that through scrapbooking in fiction.
5. Imagining the future. I think this is as important as the past. Scrapbooking lends itself to dreaming about what the future holds. With each picture we place on our pages, there is a hope for the future–or else why do we do it? I, for one, like to imagine my kids flipping through pages I’ve created in the near and distant future.
6. Relatable. Some writers write for artistic reasons alone. Others for commercial reason. I like to think my books straddle those lines. Characters have to be relatable in some way. There are other ways readers relate to my characters, of course. But so many of us know someone who is a scrapbooker—or we are one ourselves.
7. Exploration. All crafts move through time. Some are little changed by it. Others, like scrapbooking, sometimes follow trends and technology. Learning about digital scrapbooking myself, you see my characters grappling with (or loving) some of those changes. As a writer this is a great tool to show more about my characters and to show that scrapbooking is an evolving art form.
8. Food. I love the way croppers come together and bring food to events. Writing about crops gives me a chance to explore food that’s appropriate for my characters and settings. You don’t always have food at crops, and we all know that when you do it pays to be extra careful. Once again, the kind of food my croppers eat and their reaction to it is one of the elements in storybuilding.
9. Storytelling. Scrapbooking is visual story. What better way to add layers of meaning to your fiction?
10. Passion. I love scrapbooking. Writing for a living is not easy. Writing about something you feel a passion for makes it a whole lot easier.
Mollie Cox Bryan is the author of the Cumberland Creek Mysteries. The first in her series, Scrapbook of Secrets, was published by Kensington in February 2012 and was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel; the next one Scrapped, was just published in January 2013. The next in the series, Death of an Irish Diva, will be published in February 2014. Plans for the series include two more novels and two novellas. She lives in Waynesboro, Va. with her husband and two daughters.read more