An Exclusive Interview with Marie Benedict
What’s the best thing about being a writer?
As a child, I always adored books in which the characters found a doorway to the past and got to lose themselves in another time and place. I wanted to be those characters. Now, as a writer, I get to fulfill that childhood fantasy of traveling to the past by walking through the doorway of my fiction.
What are you currently working on?
Right now, [in addition to THE OTHER EINSTEIN} I am researching and writing CARNEGIE'S MAID, the story of Andrew Carnegie's early years and manner in which the women in his life, his mother's lady's maid in particular, changed the trajectory of his meteoric rise to turn him into the world's first philanthropist.
How do you get inspired to write?
Because my writing focuses on the untold stories of women throughout history, the inspiration for my writing usually comes from historical research and reading that I undertake regularly. Once I dig into the research, I operate almost like a archaeologist, unearthing the story from the detritus of history where it was buried.
Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?
To be perfectly honest, until recently, I had only the most commonplace knowledge of Albert Einstein and had never even heard of his first wife, Mileva Maric. But then, one day, I helped my son Jack with a report on the wonderful Scholastic children's book Who Was Albert Einstein?, and it mentioned briefly that Albert Einstein's first wife was a physicist. I became intrigued. I wondered who was this woman, a physicist when very few women even had university educations. And I became curious about the role she might have played in the great scientist's discoveries. Once I dug into the research about Mileva and her life, the idea for THE OTHER EINSTEIN was born.