Elizabeth Kostova Says No Sequel to The Historian

Posted on July 20, 2005

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova


Elizabeth Kostova, author of The Historian, talked to Patricia Corrigan of the St. Louis Post Dispatch about her road to success and how she juggled her day job with the lengthy process of writing her first novel. She said she spent seven of ten years teaching writing and English as a second language.

She did odd jobs before teaching. She says, "Before that, I had 2 million odd jobs. I mowed lawns, worked as a companion, edited and proofread manuscripts - anything I could find to support my writing habit."

The lesson behind her story is that if you want to be successful you need to find time to write whenever you can. Kostova says, "Every day, I worked with whatever time I had. I would look at my schedule and say, 'Tomorrow I have 20 minutes to write' or 'Wow, I have three open hours tomorrow, so I'll write as close to a full chapter as I can.' One summer when I was really busy, I wrote from 5 to 7:30 a.m., and sometimes I wrote late at night - but I always wrote every day. Because I was juggling four timelines, and because of the mystery, I had the book mapped out before I started."

Now, here's the horrifying part: she says she's not writing a sequel, saying "I am planning not to write a sequel. I like the idea of leaving something to the imagination." We'll see what her agent has to say about that.

Photo: Little, Brown