Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big ThingWhat is the title of your book?
For a long time the working title has been Some Misplaced Joan of Arc
, but now I'm leaning towards Can't Find My Way Home
.Where did the idea come from for the book?
I first started thinking of the book way back in 2006 or so...but the germ of the book was the protagonist, Jo Bergman, a young actress who feels like she irrevocably failed her best friend. What genre does your book fall under?
Literary fantasy, I guess? It's mostly set in 1970s New York City, but there's a ghost and alternate realities.Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I can't really come up with any current actors, but in the novel itself, Jo thinks that Martin looks like John Cassavetes and that Cyn looks like Mia Farrow and Bibbi Andersson. Martin thinks Jo looks like Liv Ullmann.What is a one-sentence synopsis of the book?
In mid-1970s New York, soap opera actress Joanna Bergman is haunted by the ghost of Cynthia Foster, her best friend who blew herself up protesting the Vietnam War. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I will be sending the book to my agent (in the next few weeks, I hope!).How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
The first draft only took about three months to write. But it bears little resemblance to the book that I'm finishing up now. It has taken me a long time (and a lot of revision) to figure out how to tell this story. What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?
Well, these aren't in my genre, but Marge Piercy's novels: Vida
(for its portrait of a female radical), Small Changes
and Braided Lives
(for their portrayals of intense, contentious female friendships). In my genre? Maybe Elizabeth Hand's Illyria
(though it was technically marketed as YA), which is also set in 1970s New York, and which deals with teenagers involved with the theater.Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Two obsessions: 1970s soap operas (especially those produced in New York) and 1960s-70s radical politics. I've always been fascinated by that strange cultural/political moment in the 1970s when Patty Hearst was kidnapped and, some months later, the SLA shootout in Los Angeles was shown live on afternoon TV. (I watched it, though I was nine years old and had no idea what was going on.) What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
A bisexual main character. Political fugitives robbing banks. Actors behaving badly. A love story / love-hate relationship / power struggle between two women, one of whom is (sometimes) a ghost. Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.
tagged me. Now I'm tagging skogkatt
. Please talk about any creative project you're working on, be it short story, poem, novel, novella, anthology, collection--anything.