Tuesday, October 26, 2010

IN THIS WAY I WAS SAVED: INTERVIEW, REVIEW, AND GIVEAWAY

 GIVEAWAY ENDED
IN THIS WAY I WAS SAVED
 BY BRIAN DELEEUW

ABOUT THE BOOK:
On a chilly November afternoon, six-year-old Luke Nightingale's life changes forever. On the playground across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he encounters Daniel. Soon the boys are hiding from dinosaurs and shooting sniper rifles. Within hours, Luke and his mother, Claire, are welcoming Daniel into their Upper East Side apartment -- and their lives.

Daniel and Luke are soon inseparable. With his parents divorcing, Luke takes comfort in having a near-constant playmate. But there's something strange about Daniel, who is more than happy to bind himself to the Nightingales. The divorce has cut Luke's father out of the picture, and as his increasingly fragile mother struggles with the insidious family depression, Daniel -- shrewd, adventurous, and insightful -- provides Luke both recreation and refuge.

As Luke grows from a child to an adolescent to a young man, he realizes that as much as his mother needs him, Daniel needs him more. Jealous of Luke's other attachments, Daniel moves from gestures of friendship into increasingly sinister manipulations. In the end, Luke finds himself in a daily battle for control of his own life -- wondering whether he or Daniel will emerge victorious.

Brian DeLeeuw's debut is a haunting and provocative story of a family's love and madness that you will not be able to put down
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
 
Brian DeLeeuw is an editor at Tin House magazine and a contributor to the website ThisRecording.com. He received his BA from Princeton University and his MFA from The New School. He now lives in New York City, where he was born and raised. Visit his website at www.briandeleeuw.com.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW:

1. Welcome, Brian. Thank you for agreeing to answering a few questions. Is there anything you can tell us about your background? Do you have a website my readers can go to and find out more about you?
 
My bio says: Brian DeLeeuw is an editor at Tin House magazine.  He was educated at Princeton and The New School, and lives in his hometown of New York City.  In This Way I Was Saved is his first novel.

My website is www.briandeleeuw.com

2.  Where did you get the inspiration or idea for this book?

The original idea was to write a short story from the point of view of a child’s imaginary friend.  I wondered how it would feel to be this friend as your creator—the child—grows up and doesn’t need you any more.  In the first story I wrote, the narrator accepts his marginalization and eventual disintegration.  The mood was melancholy and too sentimental; there wasn’t enough conflict.  I thought it might be more interesting to imagine what would happen if the imaginary friend fights back and struggles to survive.  The plot of the novel then grew out of this push-and-pull between the child and his defiant, clever, amoral “friend.”

3. How did the title of your book come about?

The title was a line in the original short story.  After I’d written the first draft of the novel, I still hadn’t settled on what to call the book.  I was rereading what I’d written, and the line just jumped out at me.  I don’t want to give away too much, but I can say that there’s more than a little irony involved in the “saving” that goes on in this book.

4. Do you see yourself in your characters? Which characters are easiest or more difficult to write?

I see myself in my characters in the sense that I created them; they came out of my imagination, my sensibility.  I think that in order to write a convincing character, you need to be capable of doing some projecting, of placing yourself into their mind, into their situation.  There needs to be some degree of empathy, even for the “worst” of your characters, or else they’ll end up dead on the page.

5. What books would you say have made the biggest impression on you, especially starting out? What are you currently reading?

In my early teens, I was a big fan of a lot of science fiction and horror, everything from Philip K. Dick to Stephen King to H.P. Lovecraft to Michael Moorcock to Orson Scott Card.  Those were the kind of books that made me think I might want to try my hand at this writing thing.  Later, in college, I became interested in writers like David Foster Wallace, Mark Z. Danielewski, and the Bret Easton Ellis of American Psycho and Glamorama—the authors of big, sprawling, restless books.  In the last few years, I’ve been influenced by novels like Patrick McGrath’s Spider, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, V.S. Naipul’s A Bend in the River, and Mary Gaitskill’s Veronica, which, despite being vastly different books, are all extremely tight and focused in their approach to narration.  I also think everything Leonard Michaels wrote is a fantastic inspiration for any writer; nobody else uses language like that.  The most recent novel I’ve read is Richard Price’s Lush Life, which is a truly great New York story.

6. What is the next or current book/project you are working on?

I’m about halfway through my second novel.  It’s another New York City book, a kind of mystery set primarily on Roosevelt Island and out in Rockaway Beach.  It deals with black market medical economies; professional football, surfing, and the financial industry’s collapse in the fall of 2008 also all play a role.

7. What is something about you that you would want people to know about you that we probably don’t know?

I’m obsessed with underground electronic music, and I used to DJ at raves in college.  My pipe dream is to write a comprehensive history of techno music.

8. What is your best advice to anyone, including young people, who want to be writers?

Write as much and as often as humanly possible.  Great ideas are important, but so much of writing is grinding it out, word by word, sentence by sentence, page by page.  The earlier you get used to the amount of work it takes, the better.

MY REVIEW:
It’s always exciting to discover an exciting, new author, and I felt that way again when I read IN THIS WAY I WAS SAVED by Brian DeLeeuw. In DeLeeuw’s novel, I found a psychological thriller that is a mysterious and powerful story that once you start, you can’t put down. Set in New York’s Upper East Side, IN THIS WAY I WAS SAVED begins with little Luke Nightingale, when he is six years old in 1994.

Luke’s parents are getting divorced and as is only natural, Luke’s life is changing in many ways. However, one that others in this position probably would not encounter, has to do with Daniel, who Luke meets in a playground. The boys take to each other right away and like any child that age, Luke enjoys playing with this new friend, Daniel.  They chase each other, brandishing their make believe guns, and hide from dinosaurs that are still present in the imagination of young boys this age. This same imagination is one that might just invite a make-believe friend into their life to help ease uncertainties going on at the time.

Claire, Luke’s mother, allows Daniel to come into their home, and a friendship between Daniel and Luke begins that will last a long time. In fact, the two boys are always together, so much so that it can sometimes be hard to tell who is who! Over time, one begins to sense that all is not right with Daniel. He becomes very controlling and as Luke grows up, we see Daniel’s influence on Luke getting stronger each day. He also influences Claire, as well, who is rather unstable herself, slipping into a deeper depression following the divorce.

One of the factors that makes IN THIS WAY I WAS SAVED such a chilling tale is that Daniel is the narrator of the story. Told in first person like this, readers draw conclusions about Daniel who is a shrewd and calculating character. Luke begins to find it hard to be his own person. As they grow older, Daniel goes from being just a friend to becoming more and more of a powerful force in Luke’s whole world.  Daniel wants Luke all to himself and as they become young adults, anyone who takes up Luke’s time, is a threat to be dealt with by Daniel. Luke finally finds himself at war with Daniel as Luke tries to get his life back.

With the spellbinding plot line, DeLeeuw uses his gifted and perceptive talents to reward readers with a story that will surprise and haunt them at the same time. Readers will find this page-turner to have such suspense that questions will probably remain long past the last page. IN THIS WAY I WAS SAVED would make a wonderful book club read as there is SO MUCH readers will want to discuss with others who have read it. For myself, it brought to mind the feeling I had after seeing THE SIXTH SENSE for the first time. Perfect read, especially for Halloween! I look forward to what Brian DeLeeuw will come up with next.

GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO JESSICA AND THE
GREAT FOLKS AT SIMON & SCHUSTER,
I HAVE TWO COPIES OF THIS NEW AND
FASCINATING NOVEL TO GIVE AWAY
 
--U.S. AND CANADIAN RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES, PLEASE
--INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS IN COMMENT
--ALL ENTRIES/COMMENTS MUST BE
SEPARATE IN ORDER TO COUNT
AS MORE THAN ONE ENTRY


HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY:
WATCH THE VIDEO AND READ THE INTERVIEW ABOVE TO COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING ABOUT AUTHOR BRIAN DELEEUW  

+1 MORE ENTRY:
GO TO BRIAN DELEEUW'S WEBSITE HERE AND COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND OUT THERE

+1 MORE ENTRY: "LIKE" BRIAN DELEEUW  ON FACEBOOK HERE AND COMMENT THAT YOU ENTERED TO WIN HIS BOOK, IN THIS WAY I WAS SAVED, ON BOOKIN' WITH BINGO

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE CURRENT GIVEAWAY OF MINE YOU ARE ENTERED IN. PLEASE ONLY COMMENT ON ONE THIS TIME
GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, NOVEMBER 8! 
GOOD LUCK! 

44 comments:

Margie said...

It was interesting that the author is obsessed with underground electronic music, and used to DJ at raves in college.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

The site contained may great reviews from a variety of sources. This made me even more interested in reading this book.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

Entered the Good Sister giveaway.
mtakala1 A yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

+5 Swag
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

traveler said...

This young author seems to be multi-talented. What a special novel this is. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered Ciao Italia. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

An interesting website which I enjoyed perusing and learning about the author and his ability since the reviews were great. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

This author has such great writing ability and has written for various publications. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I was captivated with the excerpt of this novel.The website was interesting and lovely. What a great writer. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I entered Nose for justice. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

Pamela Keener said...

I think the fact that Daniel could or could not be real is an interesting twist & makes me want to dive right into this book. It is telling that he is a fan of Stephen King novels.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

From Kirkus reviews "Hitchcock would have loved this premise" I want to read more.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

I entered the "Juliet" giveaway.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Linda Kish said...

He seems like a talented young man.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I entered The Good Sister giveaway

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Edna said...

please enter me I am a follower


mamat2730(at)charter(dot)net

Linda Kish said...

There are other writings on his website. I liked the article on the Japanese pod hotel.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

debbie said...

I thought it was interesting to see the progression of authors that he liked as he got older. I would love to read the book, it sounds really good.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I liked vanity fair's quote 'terrifying and terrifyingly good'.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I entered the let's eat giveaway.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

Tore said...

A very talented author. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. Tore923@aol.com

Colleen Turner said...

This book sounds fascinating! I love in his interview how he states the idea was originally about an imaginary friend and what happens to that friend when the creator grows up and doesn't need him anymore. That sounds fascinating as well!
Thanks,
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I found out from the author's website that he has published numerous stories and essays in magazines and online.
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I liked the author on Facebook and left a comment that I entered this giveaway on Bookin with Bingo (follow under Colleen Turner).
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I entered the Juliet giveaway.
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

+5 swagbucks!
candc320@gmail.com

rubynreba said...

His best advice to anyone who wants to be a writer is to write as much and as often as humanly possible.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

There were a lot of great reviews of his book.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

Entered The White House Dr giveaway
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Laura said...

This sounds like an interesting read..a very different topic.
Laura
laura.leahj@gmail.com

bison61 said...

he is obsessed with underground electronic music, and used to DJ at raves in college. His pipe dream is to write a comprehensive history of techno music.

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

Debbie F said...

Sounds like a great first novel. Count me in Thanks!
dcf_beth at verizon dot net

holdenj said...

I think this sounds like a fascinating first novel. I also just read something about Tin House mag and realized I'd seen it here too!
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

I entered the BHG cookbook giveaway.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Bethie said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I think its interesting that he used to DJ at Raves and would like to write about it.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

tallcapp said...

Like me the author is a fan of that wonderful book, Never Let Me Go.

Anonymous said...

He likes underground electronic music!

theyyyguy@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

this looks like a really good read
lynnbeaniethethird@yahoo.ca

FDP 4 Life said...

i like his advice to write as much as possible
susansmoaks at gmail dot com

Nancye said...

When Brian was a teen he was a big Stephen King fan.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

From Brian's website, I learned that he was born and raised in New York City.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I like Brian on Facebook and I left a comment on his wall telling him I entered this giveaway.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I am heading over to enter the Adopt A Dog book giveaway.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Atreau said...

I found it interesting that the author's dream is to write a comprehensive history of techno music.

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