The Next Big Thing: Eric Lindley

March 12, 2013

Part 1 of 6 in the Next Big Thing interview series I was tagged in; mine is coming soon but the slow-footedness is a delicate thing.

 

ERIC LINDLEY

1) What is the working title of your next book?

No title yet. Something where the untrue, poetic bits take stabs at a more personal, readerly truth.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

There was a This American Life about a school where the high school dance went on despite all odds: a shooting, the constant threat of death and intimidation. Something about mortal peril as the background for the frivolous and profound crises of adolescence struck a chord–>a true apocalypse amid the perceived.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

It’s either poetry packaged as fiction or fiction packaged as poetry.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

The cast of Boy Meets World, heavily made-up to match their former selves.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Still taking shape: no one ever dies, because it’s more like getting tagged and you have to wait the game out on the sidelines, heckling and cheering, and you are mostly irrelevant.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Hard to say: impossible to pronounce.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

At this point, if you subtract the time I started from the time I finish: an infinite amount of time.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Donald Barthalme’s stories, The first story in David Foster Wallace’s “Oblivion”, The benign and ominous safety manual tucked behind the price lists for snacks on an aeroplane, Harry Potter, Jesus’s Son

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Are you even listening?

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

All of their most private thoughts, which they haven’t even articulated to themselves, are contained in this book. While reading, they will strain their neck from nodding and sputtering and grinning with recognition, as if the sheer exactitude of re-presentation earns them a small slice of immortality. “How could I not live forever, if I am known so kindly and thoroughly?”

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