Counsel Stedman Responds

To my fellow Goodreads members:mlstedman

Hope you followed my prompt and took the chance to ask M. L. Stedman, author of The Light Between Oceans–the Indie Book of the Year this year–a question last Friday.

I did:

Q:  Congratulations, Ms. Stedman, on an extraordinary work. Like you, I am an attorney trying to reinvent myself as a writer of fiction. Has the study and practice of law informed your literary work and, if so, how?

A:  Thanks, E. G.

I’d say that law has been very helpful in lots of ways. For a start, it teaches you to marshal facts and express ideas clearly. I think lawyers are hard-wired for structure: information has to be presented in the right order so as to have persuasive impact, and that’s very helpful when it comes to fiction. For this book in particular, it was helpful to have had years of experience in seeing things from many different points of view. I wanted to put each character’s side across as powerfully and fairly as possible – to be their advocate, so to speak. It was also very helpful to have a legal background when researching the laws that applied at the time.

Good luck with making the transition from Law to Letters – I hope you enjoy the process as much as I have.

That’s been my experience, too–maybe I’m on the right track, after all.

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