In Rivers, the weather is an implacable enemy. Why did you decide to set your characters against such an overwhelming foe?Visit Michael Farris Smith's website and Facebook page.
I wanted extremity and the idea occurred to me that it is difficult for a place and its people to overcome one natural disaster, but what if there was such a thing as an almost continuous barrage from Mother Nature? The landscape of the Gulf Coast opened up in my mind pretty quickly. What would it look like? How would we cope? What would we do? And who would still be there? It was a strange case of having a setting before I had any characters and I didn't try and avoid that, but just began to write it. I knew the people would show up. They always do. And I knew they would have problems and histories because the world was too tumultuous not to.
I understand you prefer not to outline your stories ahead of time, and it certainly seems to have worked well with Rivers. Has this approach ever caused you problems?
Strangely, that's the first time I've ever wondered that myself. My guess is I don't think it has necessarily caused me problems. I get bogged down when I think too far ahead, or even think too much. So I'd say no, but who knows if that's completely true or not. I honestly don't think too much about process. I'm afraid if I try...[read on]
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