I have only one – to get to grips with my next novel. I’ve done a lot of BIG thinking, trying to avoid dipping too deeply into the minutiae of the story in case I corner myself or end up slipping into a crevice that leads me down too narrow a path.
I’m trying to keep my thinking loose and BIG.
‘What’s the book about?’ I ask myself.
BREAKTHROUGH – I know. And I think I know how to make it work.
In preparation for writing, I like to see how others go about it. The other week, we looked at the huge idea that serviced Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth and her friend Maile Meloy’s Do Not Become Alarmed, which are entirely different books. (I’m reading the Meloy now – it feels a lot like (and the US cover looks a lot like Patchett’s previous novel State of Wonder, funny enough).
Then I rediscovered an interview with Anne Tyler, produced by the BBC, concerning her last but one novel, A Spool of Blue Thread. Radio interviews with Tyler are rare enough, and I’d never seen her on camera until now.
So I thought I’d share it with you – again, huge thanks to the BBC – because if you’ve read A Spool of Blue Thread and loved reading about the three generations of the wonderful Whitshank families, you might be interested to see how a whole family – and a house – and decades of history sprang from a single interest of their creator.