Ash Davidson was born in Arcata, California, and attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her work has been supported by the Arizona Commission on the Arts and MacDowell. She lives in Flagstaff, Arizona.
I read about 300 books in the 10 years I spent writing my first novel, Damnation Spring. Teaching myself to write a novel changed the way that I read. Sure, I still read to find out what happens next, and how it ends. I’m still savoring a beautifully constructed sentence and struck by observations that touch me, that resonate in the world of the novel and cross over into my own.
The difference is that now when I pick up a novel, I also open a drawer in my brain that I’m filling with index cards. I note how the beast is sewn together, and the narrative techniques—things I want to learn to do. Here are a few quotes tucked away in that brain drawer.