Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blog Tour: Interview with Kathryn Galbraith

Welcome to Day 3 of Peachtree Publisher’s “Fins, Wings & Things Blog Tour”. Today – an interview with Kathryn O. Galbraith, author of Planting the Wild Garden and a chance to sign up for the book giveaway if you haven’t already (rules at bottom).

What inspired this book? Do you have a garden or did you get burdocks on your socks?

Kathryn: I have a garden, but the idea for Planting the Wild Garden came along more the "burdocks-on-your-socks" sort of way.  I was at a ten-day writing conference held in a huge state park one summer. The area was crisscrossed with paths through meadows and scrubby fields. During my morning walks I watched small brown rabbits nibbling grasses, and flocks of goldfinches perched atop prickly purple thistles. I knew that if I strayed into the fields, I'd risk carrying the fields home with me. Burs caught on socks, jeans and the tails of my shirts. Those images stayed in my mind for a long time before I discovered a way to knit them all together.

I love the female as farmer! What inspired that?

Kathryn: I consider myself very lucky because I have four wonderful brothers.  Being the only girl, I always wanted to do what they did – and more.  In short, I was born a happy feminist.  In my writing, I try to always be aware of how easy it is to fall into old stereotypes.  In the first draft, the story began with a grandmother and her grandson, but in later drafts, I changed it to "A farmer and her boy" because of the sound and simplicity of the words.

How did you do the research for this book?

Kathryn: I did lots of research - some by foot and some by books.  Both were important to me.  When I was finished, I had a fat file of drawings, photographs and notes.  I didn't use all of what I learned, but having more than enough information allowed me to select out the most interesting facts and images.
Did you watch scotch broom pods shatter and spit out their seeds? 

Kathryn: It seems as if Scotch broom is everywhere in Washington state - in fields, along the highways, even on the hillside behind my house. On hot summer days in August you can hear the pods pop open from quite a ways away. To actually see the seed fly, though, you need to be standing quite close.

Can you talk about how people aid seed dispersal? 

Kathryn: Early in our country’s history, seeds hitchhiked across the ocean in bushels and barrels of feed for the cows and goats, and were caught up in clothing and equipment. Families brought favorite seeds to bring “a bit of home” with them and also brought seeds of healing plants. In today’s world, invasive species have traveled unnoticed in the cargo holds of planes and ships, on imported animals and plants, and even on patches of mud from the wheels of cars.

Book Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of  Planting the Wild Garden. This particular contest is limited to folks who live in the United States. All you have to do to enter is:
1. Become a follower on Archimedes Notebook if you’re not already (it’s easy – just click on the “follow” button at the bottom of the right column);
2. Leave a comment on this blog about why wild gardens and weedy places are important; and
3. email me at sueheaven{at}gmail{dot}com to let me know you’ve entered so I can email you if you win. I promise I won’t keep any email addresses.
The contest for this book ends Sunday April 17.

Remember to come back Friday for an Earth Day activity.

There are more stops (and book giveaways) on today's tour - check out the complete schedule at Peachtree

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