Thursday, July 16, 2009
BLURB: Orphaned at an early age, the closest people in Frost Devereaux's life are the free-spirited Frankie Maguire and her conniving twin brother Frank. Over the years Frost's life takes him from the lush fields of the Mideast to the burning heat of the desert to the sparkling promise of Manhattan. His heart, though, never strays far from the two people who have meant the most to him. Ultimately, Frost must decide where—and with whom—he belongs.
Join me for a great interview with Patrick Dilloway.
Good Morning Patrick and I'm so glad you've decided to join me today on my blog.
Here are some questions that Patrick was so kind to answer for me.
1. Sandy - What made you want to write Frost’s story?
Patrick - Basically how the story developed was that in watching news coverage of Prop 8 in California and similar measures around the country, I started to get mad. So I decided to write a story about gay marriage, but I didn’t want it to be a preachy stump speech on the subject; I wanted it to still be a story. It occurred to me one day: what if there was a guy so terrible at marriage that he couldn’t make it work with either sex? That’s how it all started. From there I just expanded on this idea that some marriages are just not going to work not because of the genitals of those involved, but because they aren’t compatible for each other spiritually. To me, that’s what’s most important in any marriage.
2. Sandy - Where do you do most of your writing?
Patrick - When I wrote “Where You Belong” I followed a pretty grueling schedule. For about three hours on Monday-Thursday I’d go to the library after work and write. I was pretty much living on ham sandwiches throughout that time, which in this economy was probably a good thing. On Saturday I’d write most of the day from 10am-11pm at the library and then the local Starbucks or similar place. I did usually let myself have Friday off to watch a movie and Sunday to watch sports and catch up on my domestic chores; that helped keep me from burning out.
3. Sandy - How do you decide your character’s quirks?
Patrick - Early on I knew Frost’s parents were not going to be around for most of his growing up. The only thing then became deciding what exactly would happen to them. I thought it was just a lot more fun, not to mention dramatic, for his parents to loathe each other to the point where his mother banishes his father into a barn. But that was also important for Frost’s development because part of the overall point is that he never has what you’d consider a “normal” loving home. Because let’s face it, someone from a normal loving home could probably never do what he does in the book.
His facial deformity was an extension of that. I wanted something that could help keep him isolated from other kids, to keep him an outsider. At the same time I didn’t want it to be something like a missing limb that was permanent.
4. Sandy - I noticed in your current release, you are writing in first person. Do you like that better than trying to write your novel in a different way?
Patrick - I think which point of view you write in depends on the story. The first draft for Where You Belong was written in third person. I think the third person helped at first just to give me an overall feeling for the characters and story, but then going back and rewriting it as first person made the story more intimate and personal. So really each has its uses.
5. Sandy - Have you been faced with writer’s block? If so, how did you get past that?
Patrick - There have been times when I’ve been stuck. Usually I like to take a walk or a drive to clear my head. What I think helps most of all is to try and break things down as simply as possible and that helps make the problem a lot more manageable.
6. Sandy - What is your favorite time of the day to write?
Patrick - Overall I think my brain functions better later in the day. I’ve never been much of a morning person and it usually isn’t until after lunch that my brain really kicks into gear. In college there were times when I’d stay up until 2am or later to work on something.
7. Sandy - Some authors have a ritual that they do when they write such as music playing or strictly quiet. Does your writing require silence or noise?
Patrick - I always have my headphones on to pump out some music while I write. It doesn’t matter what music really; I just find that it helps me focus and to tune out the rest of the world if I have something playing. Though for the most part my music tends to be mellower, not heavy metal or gangsta rap or something like that. Other than that I don’t have a lot lucky sock or pair of underwear or anything that helps me out. I’ve written in all sorts of places from coffeehouses, libraries, my home, all the way to secluded campgrounds. I like to joke that I could probably write in a hurricane—so long as I had my headphones and juice in my MP3 player.
8. Sandy - Is there anything specific that gives you an idea to base a story on?
Patrick - Anything can inspire my ideas. A name, a title, a character, or a basic premise.
9. Sandy - What genre do you classify your novel?
Patrick - I consider this a literary saga like “The Cider House Rules” by John Irving. It was one of my first real exposures to what you might call “serious literature” outside a school setting and I was blown away. I loved the book so much that I told myself I had to do something that good someday. I tried a couple of times but couldn’t seem to find the right story.
Thanks so much for sharing your answers with me.