Monday, August 07, 2006
BOM: The Novelist, Questions and Answers
Accidental Poet asked: To what extent is the novel autobiographical, specifically with regards to the writer in the novel being challenged to write something different?
LOL. No one has ever challenged me to write something different. I think most editors would like to challenge me to write something the same--i.e., to find a niche and stay in it. So that part is completely fictional. Jordan Casey wrote in only one genre, and when you're that successful, it's easy to get pigeon-holed.
Betsy asked: Do you feel compassion for those who struggle with gambling or depression as a result of writing the Novelist? (P.S. Not that you aren't compassionate already :)
Let me turn the question around a moment. If YOU were to write a story about a child molester, would you feel compassion for this character? Most people would struggle to portray that character with any compassion because they don't struggle with pedophilia.
I don't struggle with gambling or depression because I've never gambled and I'm rarely depressed. But I have struggled with overeating, self-discipline, and children who seem bent on going their own way. So what I have to do is take the compassion I would feel for people in those situations and transfer it to things for which I have little natural empathy.
I think this is why God sometimes leads us through the valley. We need to develop empathy by touching the face of Grief. He wears a different face for each of us, depending upon our situation, but we still know him. And in knowing him personally, we are able to sit quietly and comfort others who find themselves in his company. Sometimes we only have to testify to the fact that God is there, too.
If that's all the questions, thanks very much for coming along on another BOM!