Rachael Herron, Cypress Hollow series author, Fiona’s Flame most recently, was the guest today on the Yarn Thing Podcast with Marly Bird.
She learned to knit at about age 5 with her mother’s help, and it seems that she has kept that skill as part of her life in that she was still knitting when she began her blog Yarnagogo and included her knitting which is how many people found her, including Marly! From there, she wrote her first book and her agent and publisher found her and admired her ‘personal voice’ and she became a writer in the Knit-Lit genre.
By knit-lit, I mean knitting literature. Her works have a background that depicts the comfort of yarn and knitting. The Cypress Hollow series started with How to Knit a Love Song, Rachael says she ‘pitted a sheep rancher against a knitter’. The publisher requested more stories from the nearby town of ‘Cypress Hollow’, fictional place along the California coast line, and here we go!
The books all feature the knitting wisdom of a ‘knitting godmother’, Eliza Carpenter who Rachael acknowledges as based on Elizabeth Zimmerman (Zimmerman is defined as Carpenter!) in spirit. Rachael’s quotes from Eliza were written herself, but always have the enthusiasm of Elizabeth in encouraging the love of fiber.
Rachael has a masters degree in writing and was really impelled to get on with it (it seems) because of the National Novel Writers Month, or NaNoWriMo of which she is an fan, advocate and supporter by way of sharing it at every opportunity. She started writing a blog in 2002. How to Knit a Love Song came in 2010 and the rest of the series (five total with a novella of Eliza’s story called Eliza’s Home (Amazon Link), published in 2013). The most recent was Fiona’s Flame that came out earlier this year. As a fan, I think you may like to know each of the books feature a knitting pattern! One of them is a lace shawl, that was actually designed by Romi Hill (Rachael admits she’s not ready to design with lace yet) and, like all of the books, really became a piece of the book you can see, create and touch!
I really liked the story she shared about how she finds names of her characters…. I won’t include that here, because you really should listen to the episode!
She has written outside of the series as well. Pack up the Moon deals with the secrets that can divide a family. She has also written her memoirs A Life in Stitches and continues to write her blog and occasionally share what she is knitting.
If you missed getting hear the program live, the archive is still at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2014/12/02/rachael-herron-cypress-hallow-yarn-series or you can listen in iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/rachael-herron-cypress-hallow/id313541727?i=326521755&mt=2