Karen Joy Fowler has a great essay about writing Wit’s End on Powell’s blog (Wit’s End is just out in paperback, read now!). She does life in the connected (pre-collapse? c-cough) 21st century very well:
A lot of my novel is focused on privacy, and what that means in the age of the internet. This includes things like the creation of the author persona, the mediated fake intimacy of the net, and a new kind of accessibility of writer to reader.
|“IT’S PROBABLY CENTRAL TO THE NATURE OF FICTION ALTOGETHER, TO TRY TO ENTER INTO LOST WORLDS OR ENTER INTO ‘THE LOST’ IN SOME WAY.”|
|Reasons to get involved with the science-fiction crowd:
They speak Latin
They respond promptly to blogs
Their untamed romantic impulse
John Kessel on the podcastery and the radio:
In the first week of May I’ve had two interviews that are now available for your listening. In the first, by Douglas Lain, author of LAST WEEK’S APOCALYPSE, we talk about science fiction, politics, utopia, some of my short fiction, and my twenty-year-old novel GOOD NEWS FROM OUTER SPACE). It’s available at Dietsoap, Doug’s quirky website, along with other recent podcasts.
The second interview was on the May 7 edition of “The State of Things” with Frank Stasio on WUNC radio, 91.5 FM in the Research Triangle. We talk about “Pride and Prometheus”, Mary Shelley, and Jane Austen. Here’s the link.
And another thing worth reading on Powell’s, this time an essay by Lisa M. Hamilton, author of Deeply Rooted: Unconventional Farmers in the Age of Agribusiness:
Writing about farmers has taught me a lot about how to be a witness. In simplistic terms, it’s because not much actually happens on the farm. Most days in the lives of farmers I know are composed of unremarkable tasks repeated over and over: milking one cow after another, weeding up this row and then down the next. Any writer who expects to swoop in, get a hot story, and then swoop out, will likely come away empty-handed.
I’ve learned that, to write about farmers, one must instead slow down to that rhythm of repetition. The writer must sit in the combine as it chugs along in concentric circles, taking hours to close in on the center of the field, only to pick up, move to the next field, and do it all over again. Being witness means a willingness to pass the same barn or tree or fencepost two dozen times and continually try to learn something new about it.
Women in this time period were almost always buried in their wedding dresses, because these were the nicest pieces of clothing they owned. I grew up in New England surrounded by old graveyards, and often picnicked and played in them. For this book I went back and spent time there and took many names for characters from the headstones.