Tuesday, August 28, 2018

William Boyle

William Boyle's novels include The Lonely Witness.

From his Q&A with Dawn Ius at The Big Thrill:

What can you tell us about the inspiration for THE LONELY WITNESS?

My grandmother was housebound and had communion delivered weekly. She also had a woman sitting with her a few days a week, a sort of caretaker while my mother was at work. This was when her dementia was in its nascent stages and she could still be alone some of the day. That woman, my grandma’s caretaker, was the mother of a kid I went to school with; I liked him back then, but he’d gone down a pretty dark path somewhere around junior high. I started to wonder what would happen if he just showed up instead of this woman, and what if he’d turned out bad. And then there was Amy—I was reading a lot of Dorothy Day, and I saw how Amy had embraced the good part of the Catholicism of her youth and how she was trying to make meaning of her existence in a new way. Those things came together, and the book just opened itself up to me.

This book is many things, and could be categorized numerous ways—but I love the term “gritty” and think it’s a great fit for THE LONELY WITNESS. Who are some of the writers that have influenced your work?

Thanks—I really like the term “gritty,” too. It definitely reflects my interest in exploring the dark underside of things. Megan Abbott and Sara Gran are two of my biggest writing heroes. I think their influence is all over this book. David Goodis, Larry Brown, Flannery O’Connor, Denis Johnson, William Kennedy, Chester Himes, Elmore Leonard, James M. Cain, Donald...[read on]
Visit William Boyle's website.

--Marshal Zeringue