Myla Goldberg is the author of the bestselling debut novel, Bee Season.
She was interviewed about her latest novel, The False Friend, by Jill Owens for Powells.com. Part of the dialogue:
Jill Owens: During your reading at Wordstock, you mentioned that The False Friend came from a song that you had written. How did that process happen?--Marshal Zeringue
Myla Goldberg: Very mysteriously. [Laughter] In my band I write a lot of songs, and often they are lyrically driven. I'll start with an idea that's in words, and eventually music comes to it. I was writing a song about a girl who falls in a well, and I found myself realizing that there was a lot more going on in my head than I was getting into this song. It tied into my own memories of childhood, and it was much too big for a song.
I realized, "OK. I've got to do something else with this." That's when I started working on the story.
Originally, a memory of my own had come back to me, one that I'd managed to block out for maybe 15 years or longer. My friend Theresa and I had been total best friends in elementary school, but also total competitors. We were very, very fiercely competitive with each other. And I suddenly remembered this one time where I threw a pair of scissors at her, which actually struck her in the leg and made her bleed. We're not talking stitches. I don't think she even needed a Band-Aid. But she didn't tell on me.
I'd managed to forget all of this until I was an adult. The reason it was such a jarring memory is that I'm a very, very nonviolent person. When I took a fencing class, I couldn't even touch the other person with my little lance, even though they were all padded.
So when this memory came back to me, it was this perspective on being a different person than I am now. I used to be a person that actually did something violent once, which is just so completely different. So that got me thinking, "OK. Well, how...[read on]