Saturday, August 28, 2010

Laurie Frankel

Laurie Frankel lives in Seattle and teaches in the English Department at the University of Puget Sound.

From a Q & A at Number One Novels about The Atlas of Love, her first novel:

NON: How did you get the idea for your novel?

LF: It’s sort of an alternate universe. I did go to graduate school for literature; I did have close friends there; one did get pregnant. Then not one single thing that happens in the book happened in real life. But real life planted the seed, the "what if instead" scenario. I also sat down at some point and thought about what I wanted to write about, what ideas and themes and big picture points were important to me, and I realized I wanted to write about alternative families, about the idea that there are lots of wonderful ways to be a family--all complicated, all beautiful.

* * *
NON: I think that names say a lot about a person, especially a fictional person. How did you decide on your protagonist’s full name? Did you have any other names that were in the running?

LF: I was sitting in a very boring meeting one day when I started naming characters in the margin of a handout. I figured I needed working names before I could get started, and I could always change them later. But then you get attached and start thinking of them as those people, and the names stick. The best name in the book really is Atlas, who didn’t get named until he was born, and I wish I could remember how that came to me--everyone’s going to ask--but I have no idea. Maybe I should make something up. Later, I liked the name so much I wanted to name my own son Atlas, but...[read on]
The Page 69 Test: The Atlas of Love.

--Marshal Zeringue