Tracy Chevalier


American Historical Novelist

Author Quotes

A firefly landed on Honor?s sleeve and began walking up her shoulder, its tail still blinking. As she craned her neck to look down at it, Jack chuckled. Don?t be scared. It?s just a lightning bug. He placed his finger in its path. Honor tried not to think about the pressure of his touch. When the firefly crawled onto his finger, he lifted it up and let it fly off, signaling its escape route with sparks of light.

I didn't move. I've learned from years of experience that dogs and falcons and ladies come back to you if you stay where you are.

I missed the currency of ideas. In London we had been part of a wide circle of solicitors? families, and social occasions had been mentally stimulating as well as entertaining.

My father was often impatient during March, waiting for winter to end, the cold to ease, the sun to reappear. March was an unpredictable month, when it was never clear what might happen. Warm days raised hopes until ice and grey skies shut over the town again.

Truly to appreciate what fossils are requires a leap of imagination he was not capable of making.

Although I always said that I wanted to be a writer from childhood, I hadn't actually done much about it until I came to London.

I felt as if my parents had pushed me into the street, that a deal had been made and I was being passed into the hands of a man. At least he is a good man, I thought, even if his hands are not as clean as they could be.

I never said I didn't want to marry. It just didn't happen-Iam not the sort of lady a man chooses to marry, for I am too plain and too serious. Now I am reconciled to being on my own.

My writing routine is: get son off to school and sit down at 8 A.M. I read what I wrote the day before, and then write longhand, into a notebook. I prefer paper and pen because it feels closer to my brain.

Warp threads are thicker than the weft, and made of a coarser wool as well. I think of them as like wives. Their work is not obvious - all you can see are the ridges they make under the colorful weft threads. But if they weren't there, there would be no tapestry. Georges would unravel without me.

Although we kept the door ajar so that we could hear, we could not see beyond the gentlemen standing in front of the door in the crowded room. I felt trapped behind a wall of men that separated me from the main event.

I find that when I come out of the library I?m in what I call the library bliss of being totally taken away from the distractions of life.

I read a lot of fantasy. I adored 'Anne of Green Gables'. But my favorite books as a child were probably Laura Ingalls Wilder's 'Little House' series, about a pioneer family in the mid-19th-century American west. I often thought of them as I was writing 'The Last Runaway'.

Normally book ideas come to me in a moment.

We do not need such things to help us to see God, I countered. We have His Word, and that is

As a reader, I happen to like turning pages and wanting to know what happens next.

I had always thought of the sea as a boundary keeping me in my place on land. Now, though, it became an opening.

I slowed my pace. Years of hauling water, wringing out clothes, scrubbing floors, emptying chamber pots, with no chance of beauty or color or light in my life, stretched before me like a landscape of flat land where, a long way off, the sea is visible but can never be reached.

Not of this world.

We had not meant our choice to cut us off from our past, but it did. We had only the present and the future to think of in Lyme.

As I get older, I use less jewelry - necklace or earrings each morning, not both; my clothes are getting more basic - fewer colors and simpler cuts; and my make-up is stripped back to basics.

I had come to London for a reason, not to enjoy anonymity and solitude whilst eyeing the wider horizon.

I spent much of my life in Lyme with my eyes fixed to the ground in search of fossils. Such hunting can limit a person?s perspective.

Only thieves and children run.

We say very little, for we do not need to. We are silent together, each in her own world, knowing the other is just at her back.

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American Historical Novelist