Enjoy the final installment of PennsValleyFamily.com’s interview with local author Amy Andrews about her recently published book Love & Salt: A Spiritual Friendship Shared in Letters. (Did you miss something? Read the Introduction, Part 1 and Part 2 of the Interview.)
Amy, last week you shared that writing letters is hard work. What were the sacrifices required in keeping the correspondence going?
We spent hours every day writing letters during Lent. Before we began our correspondence we were both trying to build professional careers as writers – sending our work out to magazines and journals, but we really gave up that public pursuit to devote ourselves entirely to this correspondence. Anything we published during those years was literally drawn from our letters. Writing to each other seemed more important, more real, than any other work we could do. We started to dislike our public, writerly voices, and preferred instead the natural voice one adopts when talking to a friend. So we gave up hours a day and the pursuit of publication to write the letters, but they were such a joy to us that it never felt like a sacrifice.
It’s been 5 full years since the last letter in the book. What are some of the most meaningful things that have happened since then?
My move in 2008 to Sweet Briar, VA, where Jess lives. And then my move away from Sweet Briar to Evanston, Illinois, only nine months after we had settled there. This move was actually more responsible for our letters becoming a book than anything else. We were so sad that our dream of living side-by-side was over, that we were anxious to throw ourselves into a common project. When we discovered the letters told a story, it seemed like the perfect thing.
And then we both have had another child – my daughter, Meg in 2009, and her son, Alex, in 2010.
The Soundtrack: To conclude our month on Amy Andrews’ newly released Love & Salt, enjoy two songs that inspired some of their thoughts over the years. Amy wrote,
“Nick Cave’s Into My Arms, became the basis for my letter on page 250, and P.J. Harvey’s You Said Something was significant because Jess and I began our friendship on a rooftop in Manhattan and really made a vow to one another (though we didn’t realize it at the time) by reading the Book of Ruth aloud to each other and falling in love with the idea of going wherever the other went. Our letters became our way of fulfilling that promise.”
For more interviews and a video interview of Amy and Jess together, go to the Patheos Bookclub.
Thank you, Amy, for doing the hard work of writing Love & Salt. It is an exquisite book and we are so grateful for the time and heart you’ve invested to inspire each of us. Keep us posted about your upcoming projects!
Enjoy your home,