Today I have an interview with Dalene Flannigan, author of the recently published The Truth About Us.
For me it’s the first draft—to keep going when I’m writing horribly. Anne Lamott (her book, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions for Writing and Life is one of my favorite books on writing) says that you have to allow yourself to write, ‘Shitty First Drafts’. This is absolutely necessary but it’s difficult to get my internal critic (a nasty person) to shut-up. Once you get the first draft down, you can rewrite and rewrite and rewrite … until you make something shiny.
The discovery. Definitely. I’m not always sure where I’m going and I frequently end up convinced I’m totally lost; that’s when those nasty voices of self-doubt start to whisper, “What made you think you could write a book? You have no idea what you’re doing” etc.. Then, I’ll write something—like turning down a blind alley—and I’ll suddenly know where I am in the story and where I should go next. Those moments are thrilling.
Like all writers, I’m a reader. I have always loved novels. I suppose it’s like someone who loves music learning to play the piano, or someone who loves hockey, wanting to play the game. I have tremendous respect for the power of storytelling in any art form; theatre, painting, writing… It ties us all together.
I think they’re fabulous. I think a debate about the superiority of paper or digital books can become a spurious argument. It can be like deciding whether a piece of music is good only if you listen to it on your stereo or your ipod. Ereaders are so convenient; I love having many books in my bag. Having said that, I love paper books (I’m a book sniffer) and I love a room lined with bookshelves. But, the stories, the words, are the reason I love Jane Austen.
I think everything written is based on something real—it’s just a question of how much and combinations. My characters are bits and pieces of real people, put together in a different way—Mr. Potato Head creations—a nose from this person, an ear from this one, a personality trait from someone else. I wouldn’t want to try to fully recreate someone I know on the page. I think that could be harmful and I think it would be arrogant to think I could get the complex nature of a person correct. My family and friends recognize details and quirks in my characters but that’s about it.
About Dalene Flannigan:
Dalene is a Scottish-born author who currently lives in Toronto. She has written novels, plays, and award-winning videos on hearing loss.
The Truth About Us by Dalene Flannigan
What happens when the past catches up to the present and the truth surfaces? Three women, roommates back in college, find their lives forever altered when one of them feels compelled to confess the secret sin of their past. And whose truth is it?
The Truth About Us weaves the past and the present in a page-turner that explores the shifting quality of truth, and the cost of secrets.
Want to win a copy of the book?
I have one ebook copy of the The Truth About Us to give to one lucky reader. To enter, simply leave a comment answering the following question:
Giveaway open worldwide until midnight EST Feb 21, 2012. Please remember to include your email address so I can contact you if you win.