It's always interesting to hear other writers talk about their lives, inspiration and works. I especially appreciate Ms. Vreeland's comments on the link between imaginative fiction and compassion:
"Each time we enter imaginatively into the life of another, it is a small step upwards in the elevation of mankind. When there is no imagination of others' lives, there is no human connection. Where there is no human connection, there is no compassion. Without compassion, then community, commitment, loving-kindness, human understanding, and peace all shrivel. Individuals become isolated, the isolated turn cruel, and the tragic hovers in the forms of domestic and civil violence. Art and literature are antidotes to that."
I'm very much looking forward to hearing Ms. Vreeland speak as a special guest at the Historical Novel Society Conference in San Diego this June.