AN AUTHOR INTERVIEW
What have you just finished reading?
I just finished reading Richard Yates's collection Eleven Kinds of Loneliness. I don't know how I had missed reading his stories but I had. What an amazing discovery and what an amazing writer he was. I am currently reading Richard Russo's That Old Cape Magic and loving it.
What books would you say have made the biggest impression on you, especially starting out?
Early books that made a huge impression on me were Carson McCullers' The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird and then of course short stories by O'Connor and Welty and Katherine Anne Porter.
What gets you started on a new book? A character or story idea or….?
Usually I begin with the idea of a character- a line of dialogue or thought that identifies a particular voice. Occasionally the idea is broader- a situation- a thematic wave-- but it always comes back to the focus on that individual voice.
What is something about you that you would want people to know about you that we probably don’t know?
Hard question. Maybe that I really feel a kinship to most of my characters. Every now and then I have someone I just can't redeem and can't find my way in to latch onto something and it's troubling to me when that happens and i have to keep working at it- I don't like the feeling that i am looking down on a character- I want to be eye level and as open and honest as I can be. I once had a reviewer say something like she liked reading about my characters but she wouldn't want to have dinner with them and I was surprised by that. The thought I had was well, then you might not want to eat with me.
What is your best advice to anyone, including young people, who want to be writers?
I think the best advice I can give a young writer is to read and read and read. Find works you love and pay attention to all the elements involved. Keep your eyes and ears open and take lots of notes. You can't walk through this world and NOT see the heads and tails of stories popping up everywhere.
What is something you would like to share with us about writing your favorite genre in general?
I love the revision process both with stories and novels. My favorite place to be is with all the parts spread out in front of me as I study and figure out the best way to put them all together. There's a way that stories evolved naturally and without taking the time to let it all sit and gel, there's the risk of missing or not understanding the potential.
Many thanks to Jill for sharing with my blog today.
And now...................FOR A BONUS ENTRY!
GO TO THE GIVEAWAY POST FOR GOING AWAY SHOES AND FERRIS BEACH.
FOR ONE MORE ENTRY: LEAVE A COMMENT WITH SOMETHING ABOUT JILL MCCORKLE'S REVIEW THAT YOU JUST READ. BE SURE YOU HAVE ENTERED THE ORIGINAL POST BEFORE DOING THIS PART.