J. Robert Lennon's books include the novels Castle and Mailman, and a story collection, Pieces for the Left Hand. His latest novel is Familiar.
From his Q & A with Caroline Leavitt:
I love books that cast you in this eerie, unsettling world where reality and non-reality blur. Elisa could be in a strange new world, or she could be suffering delusions, and the whole novel juggles this uneasy balance. How difficult was it to keep the reader off-centered?Visit J. Robert Lennon's website.
Not too difficult, because I was off-centered while writing it! I honestly didn't know whether I was going to come down on the side of making it a "real" parallel world, a psychotic break, or something else. In the end, I enjoyed the uncertainty and decided that this was part of what the book was about. So I committed myself to not knowing.
As someone who loves anything that even vaguely smacks of quantum physics, I have to ask you about the parallel universe theory that crops up in the novel. What was your research like? Do you think such a thing is possible scientifically?
Well, Brian Greene not only believes it's possible, he believes all the possible universes exist, and are out there. I initially heard him talk about this on the radio show Radiolab, then I read his book on the multiverse. I read a few other books, too, and grabbed some more fanciful stuff from the internet. The science here is wonky, but based in present research--for instance, the vibrating flange experiment at Caltech which Elisa encounters is a real thing.
I also wanted to ask about the gaming details in the book, which were fascinating. You play or did you research? And what was the research like on that?
I'm interested in gaming, but...[read on]
The Page 69 Test: Castle.