More Than Words:
No, not the 1991 anthem for emotionally crippled boys and the girls who love them.
I’m talking about the words that make up a book.
Blood and Salt has 76,177 words. And I chose every single one of them with care and intent.
Blood and Salt has a very specific vocabulary, rhythm and cadence, which I love— but maintaining that level of focus and intensity throughout my two-year revision with my editor was challenging.
I had to come up with clever ways that could quickly lure me back into that creepy, sexy headspace.
Music: I had a song that represented each scene, which really helped cement the mood.
But I wanted to go deeper.
Images: I created a Pinterest board for Blood and Salt, which was an awesome way to remind myself of the palette.
But I wanted to go deeper, still.
Scent: Before you think I’d gone off the deep end: Scent is an incredibly important element of Blood and Salt.
I kept thinking about this quote:
“When nothing else subsists from the past, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered…the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls…bearing resiliently, on tiny and almost impalpable drops of their essence, the immense edifice of memory”
― Marcel Proust
With that in mind, I went to an essential-oil store in NYC and developed a fragrance for each of my characters—and each setting. One whiff could transport me.
All these sensory techniques gave my writing a depth the reader may not be able to see or smell, but I’m hoping they’ll be able to experience when they’re reading.
“When you fall in love, you will carve out your heart and throw it into the deepest ocean. You will be all in—blood and salt.”
These are the last words Ash Larkin hears before her mother returns to the spiritual commune she escaped long ago. But when Ash follows her to Quivira, Kansas, something sinister and ancient waits among the rustling cornstalks of this village lost to time.
Ash is plagued by memories of her ancestor, Katia, which harken back to the town’s history of unrequited love and murder, alchemy and immortality. Charming traditions soon give way to a string of gruesome deaths, and Ash feels drawn to Dane, a forbidden boy with secrets of his own.
As the community prepares for a ceremony five hundred years in the making, Ash must fight not only to save her mother, but herself—and discover the truth about Quivira before it’s too late. Before she’s all in—blood and salt.
About Kim Liggett
At sixteen, Kim Liggett left her rural midwestern town for New York City to pursue a career in both music and acting. While attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Kim sang backup for some of the biggest rock bands in the 80′s.
After settling down to have a family, she became an entrepreneur, creating a children’s art education program and a travel company specializing in tours for musicians.
She’s married to jazz musician Ken Peplowski, has two beautiful teens, and a very neurotic dog that drags her through Riverside Park everyday on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.