Q: What inspired you to write the stories in The Well of Truth, and over how long a period did you write them?
A: I wrote this book as a creative project I set for myself over the years while I was raising my children. In some way, writing The Well of Truth was my attempt to understand and integrate my experiences as a woman in modern society.
It provided me with an opportunity to explore ways of resourcing myself from the wisdom of feminine archetypes and the dynamic rhythms of the natural world.
It took several years to complete the book because I worked on the stories one at a time. I chose not to set ambitious deadlines for myself because I wanted the stories to feel magical and thoughtful, which can be hard to achieve when you’re under pressure.
Q: How did you create your character Grace?
A: It was important to me that Grace was an accessible character to my readers. Grace and I share many interests, such as a love of travel, art, mythology, and trees. As women, we’ve gone through similar poignant experiences, such as childbirth, getting back on our feet after a divorce, and becoming an empty-nester.
Other stories in the book have a more universal appeal: sitting at the deathbed of a loved one, starting a new relationship, coping with uncertainty and grief. I write from a woman's point of view because that is what I know.
Q: How was the book's title chosen, and what does it signify for you?
A: My publisher, Spark Press, suggested the title, and I love it. In the first chapter of the book, Grace takes a trip to Scotland to explore her ancestry. While there, she learns of a sacred well that is said to reveal one’s true self. What Grace sees when she looks inside the well sets the tone of the book.
I believe that a “well of truth” lives inside each one of us, inviting us to look within for wisdom, power, and authenticity. It speaks of our connection to the natural world, our capacity to love and heal, and most of all, to discover the truth of who we are.
Q: What do you hope readers take away from the book?
A: My wish is that this book offers a place for readers to reflect on the significant stories of their lives. I also hope that it inspires people to share their stories, which can promote healing and strengthen connection. More than ever, we need stories to help us remember our mythic selves so that we can meaningfully meet the challenges of our times.
Q: What are you working on now? Do you have plans for a second book?
A: The last chapter in The Well of Truth is left open-ended, so there very well may be more adventures in store for Grace. In the meantime, my 12-year-old niece and I are talking about writing a YA story together. That will be fun!
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: The Well of Truth is meant to be an encouraging, uplifting, and easy read. Each story can stand alone as a kind of meditation, or the stories can be read sequentially. Though it’s a relatively short book, there’s a lot packed in it! I’ve heard it said that it's a perfect read for a book club, or to tuck into your bag when you go on vacation.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb