Wednesday, June 7, 2017

David Joy

David Joy is the author of the Edgar nominated novel Where All Light Tends To Go (Putnam, 2015), as well as the novels The Weight Of This World (Putnam, 2017) and The Line That Held Us (Putnam, TBD). He is also the author of the memoir Growing Gills: A Fly Fisherman's Journey (Bright Mountain Books, 2011), which was a finalist for the Reed Environmental Writing Award and the Ragan Old North State Award.

From Joy's Q&A with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett:

Are you imagining a reader, or readers, for your work as you write?

In the old days, I would’ve said, No, I never imagine the reader. Toni Morrison has that famous line that, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” That was how both of my first novels came about. With the first, I was obsessed with Daniel Woodrell. I was especially obsessed with his novels Tomato Red and The Death of Sweet Mister. I remember reading Tomato Red over and over, probably a dozen or more times over the course of a month, trying to figure out what he was doing, how he made the story move that fast. When I sat down to write Where All Light Tends To Go it was because I wanted another Daniel Woodrell novel and one didn’t exist. I wrote the kind of story I was yearning to read. With the second novel, it was that same sort of thing. I think I was obsessed with Donald Ray Pollock and Cormac McCarthy and Larry Brown at the time. I think The Weight Of This World came out of that. It came out of that same necessity of having nothing left to read and having to write the story I wanted to read. With both of those books, I didn’t care whether anyone else liked it or not. I wrote those books for myself. I’m glad other people enjoy them, but if they didn’t, it wouldn’t have mattered. I’d have still written them.

Now for why I set this answer up this way, when it came time to write the third novel, I had one book out in the world from a major publishing house and the second was coming down the pipe. At that point I was sitting on the biggest stage in the world as far as writing goes and it was impossible for me not to notice the readers. It’s impossible not to care what people think when they’re talking about it in the New York Times. It was impossible not to wonder why some books take off and others don’t. The business changed that for me. So I wrote a novel where...[read on]
Visit David Joy's website.

The Page 69 Test: Where All Light Tends to Go.

My Book, The Movie: Where All Light Tends to Go.

The Page 69 Test: The Weight of This World.

Writers Read: David Joy.

--Marshal Zeringue