Q: How did you come up with the idea for The Truth and Other Hidden Things, and for your character Bells?
A: Anonymous gossip and gossip in general has always interested me but mostly I was interested in writing about a woman who did not feel SEEN and the lengths she would go to change that.
The accidental pregnancy part also interested me because it’s not something we read a lot about — especially in woman in their 40s with older kids — and the dynamic of getting ready to welcome a child when another has one foot out the door was also interesting.
Q: The novel is set in Dutchess County, New York. How important is setting to you in your writing?
A: VERY. I do like to visit the spot I write about. My first book was set in the Riverdale section of the Bronx where I live. I was very curious about the hipster migration from Brooklyn to the Hudson Valley so this gave me an excuse to check it out for myself!
Q: What do you think the book says about truthfulness?
A: That we can believe we are being truthful about many things but still lie to and about ourselves.
Q: Did you know how the novel would end before you started working on it, or did you make many changes along the way?
A: There were big changes along the way but I knew how it would begin and how it would end. The rest was fuzzy!
Q: What are you working on now?
A: A book about a former child actress!
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: Let’s see. In addition to my kids and cats, I got a house full of plants and a yard full of chickens this year so now I am officially “that woman.” Also, unlike Bells, my main character, I am a positively terrible baker. Ask my kids.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb