Our Guest is: Phyllis Edgerly Ring!
Linda feels like she has always known Phyllis Edgerly Ring. But she met her when Phyllis published The Munich Girl, and that was only November 2015! Phyllis is a poet by nature, and likes to write about "broad-
In her writing, Phyllis treats the most amazing people as simple, understandable human beings. But it takes a lot of work to create that illusion.
As someone once noted of Phyllis Edgerly Ring, she is "good in any currency." Read on!
Phyllis, what are you working on, currently? I’m alternating between two projects. One is what I’d call spiritual memoir, based on my experience with writing my novel The Munich Girl and some of the nearly inexplicable synchronicities that it brought. The other is historical fiction set in 19th-
When you look back... what works are you proudest of? I’m truly thankful for every book I’ve been able to publish. The newest book, just released, is my first for children — Jamila Does Not Want A Bat In Her House. It reinforces for me the importance of never giving up, as it first took shape 19 years ago. The book that has absorbed the most of my time, both during the writing process and since publication, is The Munich Girl. I’d never have imagined writing a novel in which Hitler’s wife was a character. Yet as someone whose earliest life experience unfolded in Germany, I had always known I’d eventually want to explore what the experience of WWII had meant for everyday Germans, especially because for so very long, they didn’t talk about it -
What made you start writing? I grew up in a family of writers and actually tried to avoid it before I realized that it’s in my spiritual as well as physical DNA. I’ve been writing since my teens, publishing since my late 20s, and wrote for magazines and newspapers for many years. I also worked in a variety of other jobs, but always found the time to write and publish as I did.
What's a typical "writing day" for you? When I’m generating new writing, I seem to work best in a very public environment like a coffee shop, in the early half of the day. By the time I enter the revision aspect of the work, which I love (and I often go back and forth between the two in the rhythm of the way I work), I need to work in a more private, retreat-
Are you a lark or a night owl? A lark, without a doubt.
Coffee or music while you work? Coffee early, music always, mainly instrumental, and tea throughout the day as I go.
How do you set your writing goals? Are you a plotter, or a pantser? A pantser. I allow whatever portion of a work that wants to come to reveal itself and I capture it down. I’ve never started at the beginning, but the beginning always becomes clear as I allow the process to reveal things in its own way, which is almost never in chronological order. Once enough pieces of a work come into existence, they begin to show me how they connect and relate to each other, and what further directions to take. This, for me, is one of the most rewarding aspects of the experience.
You have received recognition for your work. What recognition has made you proudest? It wasn’t so much mine, as that received by one of my interview subjects. She was someone I admired a lot for her work with young writers. The magazine that assigned the piece about her pulled it at the last minute. I woke a week later with another magazine’s name in my head and queried them. They took the story and ran it quickly, as they’d had a hole come up in their publication schedule. (I always smile at these "coincidental" junctures of need and circumstance.) A month after it was published, a college dean who had seen the article called me to find out how he could reach my interview subject, as the school wanted to invite her to be commencement speaker — and award her an honorary degree. I can still remember the joy I felt in that moment.
You have done some incredible traveling and researching in the course of your writing. What life experiences have helped you most? The spans of time I spent in Germany doing research for The Munich Girl were essential for conveying a sense of that culture I love so much, one that I hope readers will find palpable. I also made two visits to the National Archives here in the U.S. to spend time looking at the dozens of albums of Eva Braun’s photos that were confiscated at the end of the war. Those experiences were very helpful for refining information and details, and also getting a feel for the emotional atmosphere of that time and place. (Note: Phyllis talks more about her visits to the National Archives on her Amazon Author page.)
Tell me about your family, your pets, where you live and work. What non-