Category : Fiction
Category : Fiction
Christopher Moore is most recently the author of You Suck: A Love Story.
Condition of Mr. Segundo: Contemplating his vampiristic sensibilities.
Author: Christopher Moore
Subjects Discussed: WordStar word processors, using the nouns “monkey love” and “guy,” Midwestern vernacular, trying to figure out the ten year interval between Bloodsucking Fiends and You Suck, San Francisco topography, George Romero, Bullitt, the 42-Downtown bus loop, invented references vs. real references, Abby Normal’s perspective, LautrÃ©amont’s Maldoror, Goth kids, Near Dark, vampire violence, dialogue vs. description, deadlines, narrative pace, the “book a year” demands of publishers, writing big books vs. little books, research, living up to Lamb, the burdens of having a mass audience, Basket Case vs. Citizen Kane, ambitious narratives, marketing vs. writing, answering email, living up the goals of being a commercial writer, Andrew Weil, “drive-bys,” on achieving balance, oscillation, Moore’s “mistress,” the last time Moore took a vacation, writer’s block, on being clueless, William Gibson, Jack Womack, on being a “piece of crap” vs. being a “master of the universe,” John Steinbeck, avoiding reviews, and boob flashing.
EXCERPT FROM SHOW:
Correspondent: Since you’re a funnyman, that would probably keep the pace going because someone’s pausing to laugh. I don’t know. I’m just wondering why you avoided metaphor — aside from pace.
Moore: Don’t even think about it.
Moore: Yeah. You’re applying way too much analytical — the kind of thing that happens in deconstructive analysis of literature that doesn’t happen when you write a book. I don’t think, “Oh, I’m going to put much less metaphor in this book.” It’s just: you write what occurs to you at the time. I would say probably that if I were to tell you what was the reason? The reason: the first book I didn’t have a deadline; this one, I did.
Valerie Trueblood is most recently the author of Seven Loves.
Condition of Mr. Segundo: Fleeing from disco.
Subjects Discussed: Weaknesses for beautiful books, life as “structured anarchy,” the definition of plot, David Markson, narrative flow, cause and effect in narrative, unexpected events, Seven Loves‘ “eventless” perception, on being “anti-plot,” the beginnings of May Nilsson, family characteristics, the relationship between unpredictable life and fiction, compartmentalized American novels vs. compartmentalized British novels, Edward P. Jones, MFA workshops, the short story form, the paucity of older protagonists in fiction and how older people are underestimated, Faulkner and race, Sidney Thompson, verboten perspectives, underlying nuances beneath sentences, Trueblood’s unintentional wisdom, two-inch items in newspapers, “quiet” vs. melodramatic reader perceptions, people who disappear, and being an apocalyptic person.
EXCERPT FROM SHOW:
Trueblood: Narrative seems to me to be something that sort of flows in many currents through us and carries us through life, but is not — I guess what I mean by plot and why I’m sort of anti-plot is the sort of contained arc: the beginning, the complication and the resolution. Novels like that, I just don’t believe. It’s hard for me to see that things could really ever be tied up with a resolution.
Richard Ford is most recently the author of The Lay of the Land.
Condition of Mr. Segundo: Trying to get the lay of the land.
Author: Richard Ford
Subjects Discussed: Bill Buford’s “dirty realism,” inland vs. coastal territory in the Frank Bascombe books, nautical motifs, Joshua Slocum’s Sailing Alone Around the World, the development of Haddam, recurring supporting characters, crafting long, information-heavy sentences, Ford’s dismissal of cyclical metaphors as “a bunch of baloney,” religion and irony, the politics of the Bascombe books, arranging Frank Bascombe’s days, Ford’s violent reactions to reviews, Colson Whitehead, Bascombe’s culinary habits, quotidian details, street names, evading the influence of other writers, the Permanent Period, self-help books, Sally’s letter vs. Frank Bascombe’s voice, roomy novels, writing short stories vs. novels, dyslexia, research and real estate terminology, William Gaddis’s A Frolic of His Own, Frank’s Great Speeches book, making trips to New Jersey, Haddam vs. Updike’s Brewer, memory and perspective, the relationship between Ford and his readers, on pissing the right people off, responding to the “fool” Christopher Lehman, and character conventions.
EXCERPT FROM SHOW:
Ford: I don’t think of [Haddam] as a character. I think of it as just the backdrop of what the real characters, which is to say the human beings in the book, do in the foreground. Setting for me is always just the context that makes what people do more plausible. And I invented Haddam out of what experience I have had and continue having in central New Jersey. And so for me it was an amalgamation of a bunch of different places that I sort of organized under the name Haddam. And it never really was intended to be more than that, except as these books began to develop to be more about American cultural life and American spiritual life in the suburbs, it sort of rose to become a bit of a touchstone subject in and of itself. Because in describing a town’s housing stock, in describing moratoriums, in describing sprawl outwards from these little towns, that became for me a subject I never intended to find but did find and then did use.
Due to technical mishaps on our main workstation, the Bat Segundo production schedule has been delayed. But have no fear: we expect to be back next week with two fresh podcasts. There are some fantastic interviews coming up. And we’ve also landed a very special guest for Show #100. But we’ll leave you guessing as to who it is.
In the meantime, feel free to check out the backlist.