Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dave Boling

Ali at Worducopia interviewed Dave Boling, author of Guernica and a journalist in the Pacific Northwest.

From the interview:

You've been a sports journalist for many years. Have you been writing fiction for a long time as well, or is this something new for you? I guess I'm wondering whether you see yourself as primarily a journalist who became inspired to write a novel, or are you a novelist with a day job as a journalist?

This was absolutely my first try at fiction. I hadn't even fiddled with it. I had some fellow journalists who turned into successful novelists (Jess Walter and Jim Lynch) and I just sort of decided it was time to see if I had a knack for it.

Seems you do have the knack. And you're certainly not the only ones to cross over successfully--Truman Capote and Tom Wolfe come to mind. One of the main differences I see between journalism and fiction is that journalism emphasizes the clear dissemination of facts, while in fiction, the facts are only included as they're relevant to story development. Was it tough for you to focus on sticking to the story, rather than presenting all of the interesting or important facts you collected in your research? I'm sure there was a lot you had to leave out.

Actually, I went back and forth quite a bit on how much history and politics and non-fiction to include. Initially, I think I included too much. I had a great deal of Basque lore, political explanations, and much more non-fictiony background on Picasso and Franco, who were both fully examined characters. I guess it was just a part of learning how to tell the story that I realized that it all would be better if the history rose more naturally from the characters.
Read the complete Q & A.

Learn more about Guernica at the publisher's website.

--Marshal Zeringue