Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the content
Subscribe to Christianity Today

Susan Howatch's Second Journey page 27

Susan Howatch, 57, is author of many novels, including most recently The Wonder Worker. She spoke with B&C from her home in London.

While you now live in London, for a time you lived in Salisbury, which is the background for the Starbridge novels. The town seems to have had a profound affect on you.

When I was down in Salisbury I had a very small apartment which was about a hundred yards from the west front of the cathedral. So for about three years I lived with that building. It had the most extraordinary effect on me. I was hypnotized by seeing it in all weathers and times of day and night. Gradually it got to me.

I wasn't a churchgoer. I wasn't particularly religious when I went down to Salisbury, but I became interested. Various things happened in my professional and personal life that were quite upsetting, and I began to wonder what life was really all about. I wouldn't call it a midlife crisis. I always think a midlife crisis is when you cling to your youth. I would say instead it was the beginning of what they call a "second journey." This is when you reach a crossroads in life and you're keen to move on. I began to read about Christianity and the church, and I was living with this enormous architectural monster outside my window, so there were many things that fused together and produced the Starbridge books.

It was quite a change from your previous writing.

My personal life was a wreck at the time, and I'd come to the end of the kind of books I used to write. When I wrote the last of my long sagas and it was just treated like another airport book, I was discouraged. I felt I was just beginning to say something interesting, but nobody wanted to know. So when I wrote the first of the Starbridge books, I didn't submit it to publishers. I put it away in a drawer because I wasn't actually sure whether I wanted to publish it. I wasn't sure whether God wanted me to publish it. Should I go on writing novels or should I go back to college and do a degree in theology and ...

To continue reading

- or -
Most ReadMost Shared