Monday, August 1, 2011

the tuesday interview: meg rosoff

Just ask me who my favorite writers are and I'll tell you that I can't get enough of Meg Rosoff. Then I'll take you to my bookshelf and depending who you are, I'll pull out a copy of What I Was or How I Live Now and give it to you. The next day a weird anxiety will overtake me and I'll have to run to the bookstore and buy another copy, because I want her books around in case I want to reread them.

PLUS: there's a new one, There is No Dog, that should be available any day now.

Royal Quiet Deluxe: What are you working on?

Meg Rosoff: My newest book, There Is No Dog is published in about 2 weeks [excerpt], and I've just finished a sketchy first draft of my next book, which doesn't have much of a name yet. It's temporarily called See You Soon and, not wanting any genres to gather moss, I've switched to a detective story this time. Only of course it's not a detective story, but my usual psychologically investigative story of adolescence. In this case it's an 11 year old girl and her father who go off to search for her uncle, who has disappeared. For reasons the author wasn't clear about until she got to the end! I like a good surprise.....

RQD: What other artists are you thinking about in relation to your writing?

MR: I've been thinking about Edward Albee's The Goat quite a lot recently because the production with Jonathan Pryce that I saw about six years ago blew me away and has been lurking around in my head quite a lot. It's all about the wrong sort of love, which is, of course, the interesting sort..... I've also been thinking about a wonderful play called Future Me by Stephen Brown, also about the wrong sort of love (paedophilia). So I guess a theme is kind of emerging here. One I might have started with How I Live Now (cousins).

RQD: What book or story or poem do you return to over and over?

MR: That might have to be Yeats or Dylan favourite might be Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas (Time held me green and dying/Though I sang in my chains like the sea.)

or Sailing to Byzantium, Yeats.

(Once out of nature I shall never take

My bodily form from any natural thing,

But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make

Of hammered gold and gold enamelling

To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;

Or set upon a golden bough to sing

To lords and ladies of Byzantium

Of what is past, or passing, or to come.)

What are you reading now?

MR: I've just finished an absolutely wonderful book sent to me by a blogger/writer friend in LA called In Zanesville by Jo Ann Beard. I don't think it's been published in the UK yet but I thought it was the best thing I've read in ages -- and the perfect example of a book about adolescence that isn't a book for kids.

RQD: What were you reading as a kid?

MR: I read everything I could get my hands on as a kid. I loved the classics like The Secret Garden and The LIttle Princess, but I mixed them up with Madeleine L'Engle's wonderful A Wrinkle in Time, anything by Ian Fleming, Thor Heyerdahl's fantastic Kon Tiki which I read hundreds of times, over and over, and of course any horse book I could get my hands on. I used to haunt the local library, waiting for the new books to come in. I loved being the first person to take out a book.

Photo by Geraint Lewis from The Goat, or Who is Sylvia by Edward Albee

with Jonathan Pryce and Eddie Redmayne

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