Q & A with Holly Weiss, author of Crestmont discussion

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General > Researching the 1920s and the real Crestmont Inn

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message 1: by Holly (last edited Dec 01, 2010 12:34PM) (new)

Holly Weiss (HollyWeiss) | 38 comments Mod
I made eight trips to the current day Crestmont Inn in Eagles Mere, PA to interview people associated with the old Crestmont. Did you know a 1927 Sears Catalogue, a sweet gift from my hubby, was an invaluable resource to learn about everyday items people used in the 1920s?

“Behind the Story” may perk some questions to ask. http://hollyweiss.com/behind-the-story


Eli (EliPenn) | 3 comments Did you model any of your characters on any one or were they strictly out of your imagination?
Also, some authors modify the time line or the environment to make the story flow more easily. Did you?


Holly Weiss (HollyWeiss) | 38 comments Mod
Eli wrote: "Did you model any of your characters on any one or were they strictly out of your imagination?
Also, some authors modify the time line or the environment to make the story flow more easily. Did you?"


I modelled Margaret Woods on a combination of myself and what I envisioned a mother in the 1920s would feel taking time away from her family to run an inn. Margaret's preoccupation with grief was a difficulty I went through in my life. Some of the scenes where Margaret figures prominently interatcting with the guests, however, came from tales told to me by the current owner of the inn.

Gracie's love of singing comes from my own. I sang professionally for 35 years.

Yes, I modified the landscape of the Crestmont campus a bit to fit my needs in the story. I thought it was important to give The Crestmont Inn shorefront, which they never really had. Guests had to walk a long way down the hill to reach the beach in real life.

I also moved the date of the inception of the Eagles Mere Tennis Tournaments up to 1926. In reality they started around 1916. And they were always second only to Forest Hills (which is now the US Open).

More tidbits are in the Endnotes at the conclusion of the novel. Thanks for your questions, Eli.


Sarah (jslehman) Holly - I just checked out the link you posted above and I think it's neat but sad that you've had to switch creative outlets due to the fact that you can no longer sing without pain. I'm really inspired to see how you're creative spirit has overcome physical obstacles and adapted to another form of expression.

I loved reading all the tidbits and facts that have contributed to this book. How neat that your husband found a 1927 Sears Catalogue for you! It is clear that writing this book was a labor of love and inspiration for you.


Holly Weiss (HollyWeiss) | 38 comments Mod
Sarah wrote: "Holly - I just checked out the link you posted above and I think it's neat but sad that you've had to switch creative outlets due to the fact that you can no longer sing without pain. I'm really in..."

Thanks so much, Sarah. I fell in love with the Crestmont, and then as I did research, the 1920s really grabbed me.


Re: switching creative outlets. A singer friend of mine said to me, "So, one voice led to another." That has become my theme when I do Author Talks. My experience is certainly not unique. So many of us have to make adjustments when we can no longer do what we have always done.


Shelli Holly wrote: "I made eight trips to the current day Crestmont Inn in Eagles Mere, PA to interview people associated with the old Crestmont. Did you know a 1927 Sears Catalogue, a sweet gift from my hubby, was an..."

That is priceless! The pictures and clothes would be great to look at....I loved when Gracie got her dress and put it on for everyone! I've never really worn many dresses but have read so many books where they play very special parts for girls and young women....it has a old-fashioned feel that I like!


Holly Weiss (HollyWeiss) | 38 comments Mod
Shelli wrote: "Holly wrote: "I made eight trips to the current day Crestmont Inn in Eagles Mere, PA to interview people associated with the old Crestmont. Did you know a 1927 Sears Catalogue, a sweet gift from my..."

Thanks, Shelli. Guess it didn't hurt that I love clothes. (Don't wear dresses anymore either).
If anyone does Netflix there is a great series called The House of Elliot about 2 sisters in the 1920s who begin a clothing designing business. Excellent.


Adrienne C. | 4 comments Hi Holly. While you were writing "Crestmont," did you start your novel from the begininng, or did you write from the end backwards? Is there anything you would change about your novel if you had to write it again?


Holly Weiss (HollyWeiss) | 38 comments Mod
Adrienne wrote: "Hi Holly. While you were writing "Crestmont," did you start your novel from the begininng, or did you write from the end backwards? Is there anything you would change about your novel if you had t..."
Hi, Adrienne. I started from the beginning, then hopped to the epilogue, then filled in the middle. I tried to listen to the characters and write scenes as they came to me.

I had a deadline with the novel, and, if I could change anything, I would have filled out the plot more at the ending. However, the publisher's deadline didn't allow me time to do that.


Adrienne C. | 4 comments Holly wrote: "Adrienne wrote: "Hi Holly. While you were writing "Crestmont," did you start your novel from the begininng, or did you write from the end backwards? Is there anything you would change about your n..."

During your 2nd, 3rd, 4th (and so on) drafts, how much new info did you add, and how much of the older info did you cut out? Was it hard to let some of it go?


Holly Weiss (HollyWeiss) | 38 comments Mod
I had about twice the amount of writing from what I ultimately used, Adrienne. Letting go of scenes was terribly difficult. The reason I only referred to the talent show and never wrote the scene was because I couldn't get the rights to use the text of a song I wanted to include.


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Q & A with Holly Weiss, author of Crestmont

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