Gwynne Forster

Gwynne Forster

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
October 28, 2002

1. Who is Gwynne Forster?

Gwynne Forster is best selling author of five novellas, thirteen romance novels and WHEN TWILIGHT COMES, a work of mainstream fiction. She is a demographer, formerly a senior United Nations Officer in charge of (non-medical) research in fertility world-wide. She holds bachelors and masters degrees in sociology and a masters degree in economics/demography. Gwynne was born in North Carolina, grew up in Washington, D. C. and lives in New York city with her husband. She has traveled in sixty-three countries, and has represented the United Nations Secretary-General in conferences, seminars and technical meeting in various European countries and throughout the developing regions.

Gwynne is an avid gardener, loves to cook gourmet food, and she and her husband enjoy having friends in for lavish dinners. A lover of jazz, blues, classical music--especially that of Mozart, choral music and grand opera, she sings on her church choir and is active in her community.

2. What inspired you to write the novel “When Twilight Come?”

Frankly, I don't know. As I think of it, WHEN TWILIGHT COMES bears a vague resemblance to Shakespeare's King Lear, which I read in high school and loved. However, I didn't make a connection between that and my book until I began answering this question. It's been so long since I was in high school, that I can hardly recall the experience.

3. How did you come about the title “When Twilight Come?”

As soon as I settled on the idea for the story, the title just came to me. You see, we writers live in the world of our imagination. Marge was in the twilight of her days, and for her three children, the sun was setting on life as they had always known it. Hence, the title.

4. How long have you been writing?

My work as a demographer has always involved writing, because it is a research profession. I have approximately thirty demographic titles either in book form or in professional journals. I began writing fiction on January 2, 1994, and sold my first book, SEALED WITH A KISS, on October 21, 1994. I still can't believe it.

5. How did you come about the plot with siblings at odds over the family business?

I don't plot. I spend a couple of months, sometimes longer, developing the principal characters. By the time I finish, I know everything my characters have experienced, their goals, dreams, weaknesses, strengths, and so on, and since I build in the conflict between characters as I develop them, by the time I finish the exercise, I know what the story is about. Wherever there is inheritance and more than one person has a rightful entitlement, there is opportunity for conflict. It seemed natural to go that route.

6. How did you come about Marge’s character?

Although I worked out Marge's character before I began the story, I responded to her as I wrote, and her character evolved. I can't explain how that happened. However, as a sociologist, I'm well versed in family psychodrama, and I knew she had to be a strong woman.

7. How did you come about Ross, Eloise and Gert characters?

Without some characters to lighten the story, it would have been a tear jerker. I introduced Marge's two girlfriends for humor. Ross surprised me. I was halfway through the story before I realized that Ross was in love with Marge and always had been. That helped me to sharpen the story, and it moved to its natural end.

8. How did you come about the relationship surrounding Sharon and Rafe’s relationship?

Sharon was the unmarried child. She was also the one who made an enormous sacrifice. If I had not balanced her life with a man well suited to her, she would have been a martyr. I didn't want that. I also wanted to show one healthy relationship between a man and a woman.

9. Why did you choose to have rocky marriages for both Cassie and Drogan?

Cassie and Drogan both have impaired personalities. Self- centered people do not make good mates and they have rocky marriages.

10. What type of atmosphere do you require to write?

I prefer to write in my office, because my reference books and computers are here. However, I write in bed, in buses, on the subway, in airports and train stations and on trains and planes. I can write any place where there is quiet. I have written with my tablet against a tree, standing on a New York street. I need quiet. That's all.

11. What messages would you like readers to receive from reading “When Twilight Comes?”

WHEN TWILIGHT COMES is about love and about the understanding of one's self. Beneath the conflict, bickering and envy, Drogan, Cassie and Sharon never stopped loving each other. Marge's friends loved her without reservation. Sharon learned that loving her siblings meant accepting their imperfections. Importantly, there is the message that we don't know and understand ourselves until we have faced and weathered a serious crisis, until we have been sorely tested.

Thank you Ms. Pierce and Literary World for giving me this opportunity to share some thoughts with your viewers. Gwynne Forster , author of the forthcoming, BLUES FROM DOWN DEEP