“I’ve struggled with writer’s block most of my life, but writing my novel, Beauty, taught me a lot. What got me in the flow of the writing—and helped me to stay there—was taking a shoemaking class. The protagonist in Beauty adores couture and boots. I, on the other hand, thought couture and high-end, luxury line products were elitist and snooty, and extravagantly expensive. $1200 for a pair of boots? No, thank you. I’ll make them myself. Turns out, thinking I could make a pair of boots that would be less costly and just as beautiful is like looking at a Jackson Pollock and declaring, ‘I can do that.’ The process taught me that high-end shoemaking and couture are visual art for the body. It’s more complex than I imagined. Each style has a unique approach; there are many considerations to be had and choices to be made. It requires skill and craftsmanship, which can take years.
Getting away from the computer, and into the studio, got me out of my head and into my body. Doing instead of thinking. It gave me a new perspective, an insider's appreciation for the art form. Then, returning to the writing fresh and with a clear head, I was no longer sitting ‘inside’ the problem, but examining it objectively from outside—and feeling passionate about what I was writing, too!”
—Christina Chiu, author of Beauty (2040 Books, 2020)