My biggest challenge in writing ‘Gathering String’: Where to end it?

I’ve been asked a lot of questions in the year since Gathering String was published. I was prepared for some of them:

  • Is your husband Jack or Sam? (Neither and both.)
  • How long did it take to write? (Too long.)
  • Do reporters really use such foul language? (F**k yes.)

Some caught me off guard:

  • How do you keep from going too far when writing a sex scene? (By going too far and then deleting most of it.)
  • What would your mother say about this? (You finally finished something.)
  • We hated all your characters. Why didn’t you make them more likeable? (Ouch!)

But there was only one question I had a hard time answering:

Gathering String Epilogue

The following April, two related items ran on the same day on Politifix’s “Informed Sources” gossip blog. The first came under the subhead Wow, did you see …”:

Jack Westphal, running through D.C.s Reagan National Thursday afternoon? Yes, it was the hunky Iowan, and just about every head turned to watch his mad dash to the gate.

Its been a rough seven months for the legendary Waterphal writing team. By all accounts Westphal, who continues to publish his small newspaper and website, has struggled to weather a fair amount of outraged public opinion over his outing the dirty secrets of his former-brother-figure (and recently indicted former Republican nominee) Swan August Erickson. Opinion on Westphals whistle-blowing is mixed, especially in his own hometown where feelings run high, particularly since the Governors brother Peter committed suicide last September. Continue reading