November 13th, 2012

The Next Big Thing–10 Question Interview

This is a fun internet meme that’s going around where writers talk about what they’re currently writing. Shari Lapena wrote an interesting one and tagged me in the process. So follow the link to read hers, then look below to read mine.


What is your working title of your book?
So Much Love

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I don’t know. It’s one of those sticky ideas that I’ve had for a decade and never written successfully, despite many attempts. Over the years the events and characters have become pretty solid in my mind. I don’t know really where they came from–it feels like asking, “When did you first find out about your parents?” I don’t know what makes me think this time it will work, but I hope I’m right! If not, I guess I can walk around with all these people in my head for another few years.

What genre does your book fall under?
Literary fiction, I guess, for want of being anything else.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Uhhh…really? I feel like most actors are way more attractive than the folks I’m writing about–not that they’re ugly, just…normal? I guess this is why I’m not a casting director. Ok, an honest attempt–man, there’s really too many characters in this book.
[20 minutes of earnest googling later]
Guys, this is giving me hives! I feel like a skeeze looking at someone’s photo with my head cocked and thinking, “Well, if she was 10 years younger…” I actually googled “First Nations actors” and then just decided to junk the whole thing. Utter fail. Sorry.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Um…it’s the story of a guy obsessed with women who have been the objects of violence…and also the story of those women. That’s not a very good description, actually. Sometimes I just think it’s a set of stories, each about a different kind of love. Those two sentences sound like two entirely different books. I’ll keep working on it.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? My agent is the lovely Samantha Haywood at Transatlantic Literary Agency.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
What makes you think I’ve done that? I’ve been working on this version of the book on and off for a year and a half and I’m *maybe* 2/3 done the first draft. Of course, it’s stories, so the individual pieces are pretty polished (I hope) but the overall structure of the book is still in process.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I thought the structure of the book was fairly unique until I read A Visit from the Goon Squad and The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao, both of which won the Pulitzer, National Book Award, etc., which weren’t things I was necessarily planning on So Much Love doing. So then I was sad. I’m all right now, but I going to avoid Olive Kitteridge, which everyone says is another book in this category that would make me feel bad about myself (they don’t say the last part, but I infer).

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Again, it was a long time ago so I don’t 100% remember. There are a couple other books that map this territory that I felt didn’t do it right, so that was probably a factor. Len Klimstra is definitely my most Updike-ian character, so there was probably inspiration there. As well, this is a book about people reading, at least to me it is. The characters live in and around and through books in profound and silly ways, something that has really helped me to understand them. So books inspired this book, I guess–not just their contents but their physical book-ness, too.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Two of the stories have just been published, in the most recent issues of PRISM international and The Rusty Toque.

Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.
Be sure to line up your five people in advance.

So, honestly, I couldn’t find 5 people. I don’t want you to think that this is because I’m a loser with almost no friends (well…) but this meme has been around for a while, especially in Toronto where most of the people I know live, so it was hard to find folks who wanted to do it that hadn’t already. I’m glad to be exporting this to other cities, and if I only have two meme-buddies, at least they’re pleasingly exotic in their non-Toronto-ness:

Jeff Bursey
Andrew Hood

Have at it, guys–looking forward to reading!

4 Responses to “The Next Big Thing–10 Question Interview”

  • Frederique says:

    Olive Kitteridge couldn’t do anything but make you feel good about yourself. Two years ago, on a mountain top in Peru, it saved my life (or at least my mental health).

    I can’t wait to read So Much Love. It sounds a bit sinister…

  • Rebecca says:


    My worry is that Olive Kitteridge actually the best book ever–I can’t deal with that. I almost had a nervous breakdown over how good Goon Squad was. I will read Olive when I am done working on SML, because then it can’t damage me anymore. Please tell me the Peru story!

    Yes, SML is a darker book, but still–it’s me. I’m trying to find the balance, but certainly some stories are funny (or at least supposed to be) and there’s a number of cats in it.

  • An interview on new work « Verbatim: A Novel says:

    […] Rebecca Rosenblum participated, and asked if there were others who’d like to take part, so I thought: why not? After the jump is my contribution. […]

  • The Next Best Thing… Jeff Bursey | BIG OTHER says:

    […] this has shown up here, now, thanks to Davis. I took part in it in November when Rebecca Rosenblum, a canadian short story writer, asked if there were others who’d like to play along. I thought: […]

  • Leave a Reply

So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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