A Novel Is a Sprawling Thing

This morning, I was interviewed on “Writers on Writing” on KUCI by Barbara Demarco Barrett, a lovely woman who should really be more famous.  http://writersonwriting.blogspot.com/  The podcast should be up within a month.Image

One question that Barbara asked me was more intriguing than the rest.

“How do you keep a book going?” she asked.

I hesitated.  It’s a complicated question, but in the process of answering it, I discovered that my thoughts about it were more interesting than I realized.  A novel is a sprawling thing, I said.  I mean, mine is 85,000 words, and when you come back to it after an absence, it’s like coming back to a large country with lots of different regions–the Midwest, Louisiana, Connecticut, the Rio Grande Valley–all different from each other and each with its own unique characteristics.

I love it when I write unlikely anecdotes.  My book is nominally a thriller, for example, but the excerpt I read on Barbara’s show was lyrical and even rhapsodic, which is unlikely.  It was a flashback about how a 17-year-old girl discovered that she had a good voice.  A voice teacher told her one day.  That compliment stayed with her for years, and she would come back to it at various times when she was low.

I was honored to be on the same show as some pretty stellar writers.  Barbara has interviewed such luminaries as Lorrie Moore, whose prose can be soaring and masterful, and who some critics call the best short story writer in America; Robert Olen Butler; the bestselling New York Times columnist Anna Quindlen; the new sensation George Saunders; and many others.

The night before, I wasn’t even nervous.

I’m going to talk about this thing that I love to do: writing, I thought.  What could be more wonderful.  There’s no way to make a mistake.

And I didn’t make any mistakes, except that I failed to mention this blog.  Oh well.  The best thing is that I know the listeners could hear in my voice how much I love this book, What Happens to Us.  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DSSN5SU  Only $3.99 to download.  Now available on Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-happens-to-us-david-groves/1116176504?ean=2940148794684&itm=1&usri=2940148794684

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