Friday, October 2, 2015

Interview Link and Levitating

October 1st 2015

Here's the link to my recent interview with Books Go Social:

If you as a writer are embarking on a novel, where do you draw the line between believable and unbelievable?  Nobel Laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez says it's possible to get away with ANYTHING as long as you make it believable.  He took his own advice and gave us babies born with the tail of a pig and levitating priests.

So, I marvel at how the literary establishment carves up this territory of "ANYTHING." It seems as though if you're Latin American or Native American, they call this magical realism. If not, then you're just really stretching the reader's imagination. In the case of my own book, I am asking the reader to think of time displacement in the context of an epileptic fit (a phenomenon already well documented.) There are people in my community who have been giving me a sort of withering look since my book hit the shelves. My daughter's teacher said, "So, I hear you write romance novels." He was pretty impressed at that, but then he is among the minority, and I was very happy to set him straight.
Romance novel? What about Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre or Pride and Prejudice? If any one of  these had been published for the first time this year you would no doubt find them on the shelves of Barnes and Noble next to 50 Shades of Grey and Mr. Sexy.
It all comes down to the establishment and how it applies the scalpel. If you look for Pat Conroy,  you'll find him in the paperback section on the popular fiction shelves. No matter that he writes far more beautiful prose than some of the "edgy" writers who are lauded and wreathed by the bigwigs.
You have to be really really careful of opinion sanctioned by the establishment in no matter what area of life. You have to think for yourself, as a consumer, as part of the body politic, as a member of the literary community.

Veil Of Time has a romance in it. It has time travel. But, as reviewers have pointed out, the book does not really conform to the Time Travel Romance genre. It is its own beast. As the series goes on, it starts asking important questions, perhaps pivital questions. New Testament scholar Bart Ehrmann raises a similar set of questions about the way the early Christians shaped our world. He is the go-to voice of reason in the face of fundamentalist hysteria. It's just that I am asking them in terms of story.
I tried my hand at academic writing. I did. I wrote my post-graduate thesis on Friedrich Nietzsche, for God's sake. But I'm not much good at dry-bone stuff.  I have a brain, but I am given to flights of fancy, so I turned to writing novels. For the record, I neither read nor write Romance fiction.
Perhaps I should change my name to Clara Hija De Dougall. Then the establishment would be able to sanction my forays into the realm of the unbelievable.

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