In fact, Prudy White has always written.
When she was training and working as a nurse, she wrote.
When she was raising a family, she stayed up late in the evening and wrote.
Her husband and kids knew she wrote. It was part of the fabric of her life. And it continues to this day.
I am curious why some people are driven to put words on a page. Prudy says she just has to do it. It is essential to some part of her. Not that it is easy. In fact it is just the opposite. Does writing help her make sense of the world? Is it a comfort? A personal challenge? Maybe. What I do know is that Prudy is willing to endure all the hard, often lonely work, and stick with it.
While living in Ottawa, Prudy decided to expand her writing experience and take course at Carlton University. It gave her the impetuous to invest more time in developing her writing. She put the work in, completed a novel and submitted it to a publisher. Unfortunately, the resulting rejection was so discouraging that her writing ground to a halt. It took Prudy awhile to gain confidence in herself and write again. She stuck to poetry, just writing for herself.
When she and her husband Lou finally moved back to Nova Scotia, living in the rural community of Malagash, Prudy took courses through the Writers Federation of NS, https://writers.ns.ca/, and searched out more information at events like Read by the Sea in River John. https://www.readbythesea.ca/.
Around the same time, Prudy was influenced by her elderly father. Despite his blindness, he had long had the intention to write an expansive historical war story and had done a lot of research. When he struggled to organize the material, Prudy offered to help. She wrote a couple of chapters based on his experiences but her efforts did not fit with her father’s vision. Her father died before they could collaborate further, but family and friends encouraged her to continue the project.
Ten years of research and drafting chapters followed until the novel A Grey Dawn became a reality in 2013. Perhaps because of her earlier rejection, Prudy was reluctant to pursue a traditional publishing route. By this time she realized that subjecting herself to the rigours of the editing process was really not why she wrote. She felt, and continues to feel, more comfortable relying on her own intuition and the demands of the characters she creates. She decided to self-publish about 20 copies for friends and family who had helped her on the journey.
The resulting response to the novel was invigorating. In spite of her reluctance to toot her own horn, Prudy found herself reading at book club gatherings and libraries and promoting her book at Carrefour Atlantic Emporium in Halifax Historic Properties. Word of mouth through family and friends increased demand for the book. When she reached a 4th reprint, Prudy bravely approached Nimbus Publishing to see if they would be interested. The company had just published a book about the Halifax Explosion and were reluctant to consider a manuscript in the same time period. Undaunted this time, Prudy was inspired by the enthusiastic feedback from her readers. It had been a joyful experience and gave Prudy the confidence to jump into more writing projects.
The Gathered Moss, a tale of two sisters separated at birth, was published in 2019. Her third novel, The Art of Perception, a followup to A Grey Dawn, addressing themes of aging, mortality, and father/daughter relationships, came into the world this past summer in 2023.
Prudy is drawn to stories that are character-driven. She is inspired by the writing of Charles Dickens, Dan Brown, the mysteries of Louise Penny, and John Grisham’s thrillers. She acknowledges that there are strong themes running throughout her work. Families, both natural and found, unwed mothers, homosexuality, nature vs nurture, the progress women have made in the last century and alcoholism are just some of the issues Prudy has been interested in exploring.
Novels can be wild animals that need organizational skills and attention to detail to keep them under control. Every writer has their own process. Prudy works from notebooks, outlining the whole novel in advance and writing a chapter at a time. There follows many, many revisions. Her trusted readers give her feedback to help with those rewrites. Her husband Lou has been an invaluable resource for dealing with formatting, structure and copyediting. She has relied on the good folks at Acadian Printing in Amherst to produce all of her books.
For more info about the dedicated writer Prudy White, or to contact her about getting a copy of her books, check out https://www.facebook.com/larryprudy.white