Verbatim: A Novel

Notes on an unconventional book

An interview on new work

This steps away from the usual focus of this blog to participate in a meme that’s going around. Shari Lapena explains this way:

“I’m excited to be part of this interview that is flying blog to blog, where writers talk about The Next Big Thing they’re working on, then tag another five writers (or in my case, four) who answer the same ten questions, and then tag another five writers, and so on. It’s a great way to find out about other writers’ works in progress.”

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.

What is your working title of your book?
Unidentified man at left of photo

Where did the idea come from for the book?
The title popped up in the early 2000s or late 1990s. Sometimes they take a while to adhere to a topic. The idea for the book arrived one day while I was walking down part of the Confederation Trail, which goes across pei. I live in charlottetown, and at that time my home lay 25 minutes’ away by foot from the office building where I work. The part of the trail near where I lived then goes through an agricultural area called the Experimental Farm. On the way to work one morning the tone and perspective appeared, followed by a hazy view of the so-called subject matter. November 2004. Now that I think about it, the Experimental Farm is a perfectly appropriate place for such a thing.

What genre does your book fall under?
Exploratory, or experimental, literature.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
There aren’t any real characters. But in case anyone did try, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Christina Ricci and Maria Bello.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A free-wheeling novel, set in a personal charlottetown, that is dismantled even as something replaces it, under a reader’s eyes and with their input.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Not self-published. And I don’t have an agent, or a publisher for it.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I started it in 2004, but there have been some life changes and other interruptions. The second draft will be finished soon.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Books by Gilbert Sorrentino and Mati Unt.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Living in charlottetown inspired the local features. Reading novels that cheerfully and successfully favoured style over plot and/or character development proved of immense significance. Those things are useful devices that have their place. For this book I wanted the freedom provided by choosing other restrictions.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
First and foremost, it’s about what a writer can do when some of the conventions cherished by judges of novel contests are left out. Plus, there are cameos by living canadian writers.

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.
Rebecca Rosenblum’s link is above. As for the tagged writers (four), they are

Chris Benjamin

Michelle Butler Hallett 

Lee Thompson

A.D. Jameson


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