Saturday, February 7, 2015

Emma Hooper

Emma Hooper is an author, musician and academic. Her debut novel is Etta and Otto and Russell and James.

From her Q & A with Caroline Leavitt:

I always want to know what sparked a particular book? What was the question that haunted you?

I think the question that drove a lot of this book was “Why not?” Why not walk 3,000 miles? Why not go find the caribou? Why not make paper maché animals until all the space in your yard and heart is filled up? These Why Nots are what built the story. First them, and then their partners, the just-plain whys. Okay, there’s no reason why Etta can’t walk all the way to the ocean one way or another, now we need to figure out why she’d want to... It was like a persistent three year old asking why? why? why? I suppose that’s a bit of a cheeky answer, because that’s, I imagine, how most every story is made, but, still, in this case, that’s what happened, my imagination said:

Why not have a character walk across Canada?

And my brain replied:

No real reason why not… now tell me why she would want to…?

And so on.

This is your debut, and it’s an astonishing one. What was it like writing this book? What kind of writer are you? Do you make outlines? Do you have rituals? And do you already have something else you are working on?

Writing this book was very… sporadic. I’ve got three other jobs, as a freelance musician, an academic at Bath Spa University and a violin teacher, so the writing of this book took place in all the little gaps and spaces in between other things. Lots of writing on the train! (I’m actually writing these answers to you on the train right now… :) ).

I don’t make outlines, I prefer to start each writing session having ...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue