A Spool of Blue Thread coverThe long list for the annual Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize) is out, and one of the novels on the list is Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread.

Tyler, a prolific writer, is the author of twenty novels.

I read an interesting interview with her in The Guardian, in which she spoke about the down time she needs to have between novels in order to allow a new story line and cast of characters sink in.

Here’s how Tyler explained her post-novel creative process:

The “refilling” between books takes nearly a year. “I always said if you asked a woman who’s just given birth, ‘When are you going to have your next baby?’ she’d say, ‘Whaaat?’”

Loved the comparison. But I was also surprised that an author who has published as much as Tyler regularly takes down-time after a novel… and a full year at that. Even more impressive that she’s managed to publish such a large number of novels.

And what about you, writers? Do you jump into your next project after completing the first? Or do you, too, like to enjoy a ‘refilling’ period post-novel?