Thursday, February 7, 2008

Like Radio Shack, I've got answers

If not countless shelves of batteries and one year no-interest financing.

"Quarterdeck," the newsletter of McBooks Press, has published an interview with author and renowned CTA-curser Gerry Doyle. Besides a giant picture of me, you can hear the answers to such hard-hitting questions as, "How many planes fly over your house every day?" and "Do you really love 'Canticle for Leibowitz' as much as you pretend to?"

An excerpt:

How do you name your characters?

Step one: buy some darts. Step two: throw them at a phone book. Seriously, coming up with good names is tough. I just play around with combinations until something sounds right. It can take a while.

Do you plot out your novels before beginning to write?

Nope. I’ve found that getting too specific about plot before I write tends to assassinate good ideas. I’ll sketch out in my head what I generally want to happen, then let the characters do it their own way. A lot of this “What if?” thinking happens during my commute--thanks, CTA!

And that's just a sampling of my earthshaking insights. For more, check out the newsletter here.

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