Breathe, buzz, hint, spell,/Sigh, speak, say, tell: I love verbs.
Tension: It's hard to explain exactly the process of writing any book and what exactly I do in each revision. In this chapter, again the things Miri wants escalates. Each chapter must contain some kind of tension, which I would describe as the reader wanting something for the character(s) and anxious that they might not get it. Sometimes in rewrites, I'm looking at each chapter (or looking at creating/combining/cutting chapters) to see if the story in it has enough tension to keep me turning pages. Tension helps a reader care about a story. A story is the characters. Tension helps a reader to care about what happens to those characters.
A friend!: I'm so relieved that Miri has Britta. Things are going to get harder, but everything is more bearable with at least one good friend.
Quarry-speech: This also changed a great deal over the course of writing. At first it was a very lame and obvious kind of telepathy. My editor pointed that out, and she was right. I think Neil Gaiman said if someone says something's wrong with your book they're always right; if they tell you how to fix it they're always wrong.(paraphrase) As I recall, she made a possible suggestion about how to fix it and it just didn't gel with me. But I thought instead of the communication through memories, and the idea excited me. I remember talking it through with Dean, and he didn't get it. I could see the possibilities in my mind but couldn't communicate them to someone else outside of story. Once I wrote it into the story, it worked. Stories always communicate better than lectures and monologues.
Mary mom of 4 asks, "I'm curious if you hear a melody with the words of your poems/songs?" Yes, some of them I set to real melodies and some I made up and would sing to myself. Imagine me writing the songs and muttering them aloud to songs that would make music lovers weep--and not in a good way. I'm not musical, but I have a good imagination!
HP asks, "how old do you think someone should be before reading Austenland?" Looking over the "Is this book appropriate for kids?" section on my site, I don't have anything helpful I could add to that.
Keep the questions coming!
Also, this summer, in celebration of their 10 year anniversary, Bloomsbury is offering Book of a Thousand Days ebook for $0.99 wherever ebooks are sold, including for Kindle and Nook. You can get the Google ebook through my local indie, The King's English.