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QU Literary Magazine: — Interview with Author Patti Callahan, "Becoming Mrs. Lewis

Interview with author Patti Callahan

Personal Interview with author Patti Callahan, author of Becoming Mrs. Lewis (historical fiction) and 13 contemporary fiction novels

by Karin Pendley Koser

QU MFA 2019

[Full disclosure: Patti and I have known each other casually for about ten years but aren’t in regular touch due to our full lives and physical distance after she moved to Birmingham from Atlanta shortly after we met]

In our interview together, New York Times best-selling author Patti Callahan (Henry) comes across as both comfortably settled into — and articulate about — her process and structure as a writer, as well as quite psychically tuned in to the complexities of the human condition. In a short time, we go deep into how the back story, and subconscious/shadow side of a character, can inform the character’s pain and struggle like nothing else.

Here are the highlights of our hour spent talking just before New Year’s 2019 about Callahan’s first historical fiction novel, Becoming Mrs. Lewis, which debuted to both critical acclaim and strong sales in the fall of 2018. It is, in Patti’s words, the improbable love story between writer/poet/author Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis.

KP: You made a big leap with your historical fiction novel that debuted October 2, 2018. Or did you?

PC: My previous twelve fictional novels (written as Patti Callahan Henry) are narrative stories from a woman’s point of view. The process of writing such a story didn’t change with my transition to writing about a r