Today, Carsten Stroud (Niceville, The Homecoming) asks many questions, but offers few answers. The man is hard core, refusing to let himself off the hook with softballs, asking questions he himself is afraid to answer. As am I, frankly, although I did try a few times. (Read the Conscious Interview here.)
[ED.: Yes, if the devils haven’t paid the tab.]
How can stuff happen in a book I’m writing that comes as a complete surprise to me?
Seriously? I don’t understand that, but I swear it happens to me all the time, and I would bet it happens to all good writers. So where does it come from? No idea.
Why do books like Gone Girl and Fifty Shades of Grey and everything ever written by James Patterson and all the Giller Prize Winners and the Booker winners and Margaret Atwood and that large toad-like creature who wrote Wolf Hall (named after something over a fire, I think), why do they all do so F%$##@#!!!ing well while truly great writers (okay, writers like me) suck canal water?
And why can’t I kill them?
[ED.: Because society.]
And why can’t I kill writers who still use phrases like “shots rang out” or “little Lindsay Lumpkin” or “my inner goddess was doing the meringue”???
[ED.: Because…I got nothing here.]
Finally, why do most Book Fairs and Writers Festivals (NOT the Ottawa one) absolutely CRUSH the souls of all writers dumb enough to show up?
Something that should be fun, a little gonzo, and maybe a tad weird too, ends up playing like The Hog Futures Report on CBC Two? Thank God For Drinking!
[ED.: I’ve been lucky, have nothing but great things to say about the festivals I’ve been invited to. But I must agree whole-heartedly on the wonders of drinking at said festivals.]