Peter Rock is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Wallace Stegner Fellowship. His adult novel My Abandonment won the Alex Award.
Rock's new YA novel is Klickitat.
From his Q & A with JP Kemmick for Eleven PDX:
ELEVEN: Do you want to tell me about the genesis of Klickitat?Learn more about the book and author at Peter Rock's website.
Peter Rock: There’re sort of practical reasons why I wrote it and then there are other reasons. Certainly one of the big things that drove me to write it was just thinking about sisters. I have two sisters who are very strange. My wife has two sisters who live about half a mile from us. And I have two daughters, who are, in fact, sisters of each other. And my wife’s sister also has two daughters who are about the same age. So I’ve spent the last eight years, especially before they got into elementary school, driving these four girls. At the same time, reading a lot of things … starting kind of younger, with Beezus and Ramona and then, traveling on through all of Laura Ingalls Wilder, which is very sister-intensive. I guess, you know, I’m always interested in writing about things I don’t understand very well and that’s something I will never understand.
I think writing The Shelter Cycle changed the way I think about the world in general, but it also made me want to write about things that are invisible in some way, that are ineffable in some way, the ways in which we might be communicating with things that we can’t easily see or apprehend. There’s a story in my book, The Unsettling, called “The Sharpest Knife,” which is partially about a girl who finds writing in a notebook. It’s a story, for something that I wrote, that I like quite a bit, but there was a question of whether or not I was going to answer where this writing was coming from. And in the story there is an answer for it, which I think is a good answer for that story, but it always seemed like I … not exactly bailed, but that there was another way to take that. So that was an idea I wanted to think about.
I had, from The Shelter Cycle, and also from My Abandonment, somewhat, I had so much information about survivalism and children surviving in the wilderness that I was kind of curious about. So those were all things that were sort of around. As you no doubt know, everything we write is in some ways a reaction to what we just wrote, or an attempt to get away from what we just wrote or to make...[read on]
The Page 69 Test: My Abandonment.
The Page 69 Test: The Shelter Cycle.
Writers Read: Peter Rock.